FAS election 2017

Football: Three win appeal to run 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

Suresh Nair is sole candidate to have appeal rejected; 14 to vie for 6 council member seats

The Game Changers team contesting in the upcoming Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election had one of its individual candidates ruled ineligible, despite 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.

Two other 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.

'I DESERVE TO KNOW WHY'

I'm very disappointed that my appeal has been dismissed, rather unbelievably, without a reason or an explanation... I feel very hurt that isolated incidents of the past have been brought to the fore.

SURESH NAIR, on his rejected appeal.

"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 April 29, 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 remain 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 the six seats in the 15-man council.

The Game Changers will also field a slate of nine to challenge for the leadership posts against Team LKT led by lawyer Lim Kia Tong.

Moklas Ma'arof, secretary of National Football League (NFL) Division 2 club Kembangan United, withdrew as an individual candidate two weeks ago, after he claimed he was mistaken to be aligned to the Game Changers.

The 62-year-old's version of events had since been disputed by Ng's team.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2017, with the headline 'Three win appeal to run'. Print Edition | Subscribe