SportSG, FAS council must work together: Lim

An open election to decide the next Football Association of Singapore (FAS) leaders represented too many unknowns for Sport Singapore (SportSG), and that was the key reason behind the decision to take control of public funding for local football.

In the past, the FAS council members were appointed by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (now known as the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth).

That practice has stopped, after it was found in 2015 to be in breach of world football governing body Fifa's regulations.

The FAS, which previously received about $25 million of grants directly from the Tote Board, will have to hold its elections by May. Its latest 2015-16 financial report showed its total revenue was $35.8 million.

In the previous model, the appointees were answerable to the Tote Board and the ministry, SportSG chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin told The Sunday Times.

 

Speaking at the ActiveSG Outdoor Adventure Club launch, he added: "Now that they are going to elect their own leaders, it's only logical that you bring them into the mix with other NSAs (national sports associations).

"Now it's not a council that we appoint or control, it's something that the affiliates decide who they want to lead and I think therefore you need a layer of support. You need a layer of governance to guide an elected council who may or may not have the requisite experience in running a NSA."

Interim FAS president Lim Kia Tong, a litigation lawyer and a former vice-president, is understood to be FAS' preferred choice to lead the new team.

The new president must run as part of a team of nine, comprising a deputy president, four vice-presidents and three council members. It is compulsory for a woman to be part of the slate.

Hougang United chairman Bill Ng has also been tipped for the top post. Another team, led by former Woodlands Wellington manager R. Vengadasalam, is in contention.

Whichever team that eventually receives the mandate from the FAS' 46 affiliates must work together with SportSG to develop local football if they want to receive funding, Lim noted.

He said: "It's very clear in our minds that public funding for sport must be aligned towards national objectives and this readjustment of government funding is necessary."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 15, 2017, with the headline 'SportSG, FAS council must work together: Lim'. Print Edition | Subscribe