Football: Three out of four candidates win appeal to contest in FAS election

(From left) Former Fifa referee Lai Boon Teck, Hougang treasurer Jeffrey Sim and independent candidate Kumar Appavoo made successful appeals to contest in the April 29 polls.
(From left) Former Fifa referee Lai Boon Teck, Hougang treasurer Jeffrey Sim and independent candidate Kumar Appavoo made successful appeals to contest in the April 29 polls.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/FAS GAME CHANGERS, KUMAR APPAVOO

SINGAPORE - The Game Changers team for the upcoming Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election had one of its individual candidates ruled ineligible after an appeal.

Suresh Nair, a refereeing instructor and former journalist, has been barred from contesting in the April 29 polls after he failed the eligibility and integrity checks.

On the other hand, two individual candidates aligned to the Game Changers team led by Hougang United chairman Bill Ng - former Fifa referee Lai Boon Teck and Hougang treasurer Jeffrey Sim - made successful appeals.

The duo had their applications rejected initially as they were not nominated by the correct official as required.

In addition, Kumar Appavoo, an independent candidate vying for an FAS council seat, also made a successful appeal after he was initially ruled out for lacking sufficient experience in the sports fraternity.

An FAS spokesman said: "The assessment of the appeals by the Ad Hoc Electoral Appeal Committee has been completed. The candidates who have submitted their appeals have just been informed on the outcome of the assessment.

"To respect the confidentiality of all candidates, we will not be publicly releasing specific grounds for accepting or rejecting appeals.

"The final official list of candidates for the election of the FAS Council will be made known at least 10 days prior to the date of the Election of the FAS Council which will take place on 29 April, 2017."

The Straits Times understands that it was a particular point on Nair's nomination form that questioned if candidates had previously placed bets on local football with Singapore Pools that raised concerns for the committee.

A spokesman for the Game Changers team said: "We are glad that Lai Boon Teck and Jeffrey Sim's appeals were successful but we are disappointed that Suresh Nair did not get the clearance. We can only wonder why.

"However, the team remained focused and committed for the coming election."

Nair, 62, added: "I'm very disappointed that my appeal has been dismissed, rather unbelievably, without a reason or an explanation.

"Personally, I feel very hurt that isolated incidents of the past have been brought to the fore, not withstanding that I'm the most senior in the current batch of 18 FAS referee assessors in the S-League and Prime League.

"I feel that the appeals committee owe me a reason for dismissal, given that the original decision was based on matters which affect my integrity."

With Nair ruled out, there are 14 individual candidates left to contest for the six seats in the 15-man council. The Game Changers will also field a slate of nine to challenge for the leadership positions against Team LKT led by lawyer Lim Kia Tong.