SINGAPORE - National sports agency SportSG has met the affiliates from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Saturday morning (Oct 22) to discuss the issues of the association's upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM).
The EOGM is slated to be held on Nov 7 with the agenda to pass the revised constitution through a vote. The FAS will then call for an inaugural election for its office holders only after the new constitution is passed.
FAS council members had previously been appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. But this was in breach of Fifa's regulations, which frown upon government interference in football associations.
Of the FAS' 46 affiliates, 39 from the National Football League (NFL) and Islandwide League (IWL) clubs, who form the bulk of the votes, were invited to meet SportSG officials for a discussion on the EOGM issues.
According to a SportSG spokesman, the meeting, attended by 15 affiliates, was "a fruitful session".
The lower-tiered NFL and IWL clubs had earlier voiced their concerns that they have been neglected as the vast majority of the association's $35.8 million budget last year was spent on staff salaries, the now-defunct LionsXII and the S-League. According to the FAS' statement of accounts, only $70,000 was devoted to grassroots, a figure which was later clarified as $250,000.
SportSG called for a meeting with the FAS affiliates to hear their views and concerns ahead of the EOGM.
The spokesman said: "We think there is a danger they (the affiliates) will get the two components mixed up, maybe they will not give enough thought to the process.
"If there is a repeat of what happened (during the first AGM on Sept 24, which ended abruptly with members disagreeing) with no new constitution being passed, it will not do Singapore football any good."
The agency also hoped the lead-up to the EOGM and the elections will be smooth and peaceful. The spokesman said: "This is one particular sport where we cannot allow the NSA to quibble and be dysfunctional. We don't want the FAS to become one of those.
"We think it is a very reasonable set of constitution. We want to hear their (affiliates) views. The 46 affiliates have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders. If they are not conscious of their responsibility, it will not do justice to the new process (of revising the constitution and conducting the elections) and we all know of the special place that football has in our country."
But the new FAS council will still need to present its plans to SportSG and the agency has not ruled out cutting off funding if the plans are not up to scratch.
The FAS has 46 affiliates: nine are S.League sides, including those that are sitting out of the competition, 10 NFL clubs, 14 IWL clubs and 13 others - including five clubs from the Women's Premier League.