Better choices out there for AFC exco seat

I was tickled by the report that former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) general secretary Winston Lee has been nominated for an "ambassadorial" position (FAS backs Lee for Asian exco seat; Dec 9).

FAS picked him as their only choice for one of nine seats on the executive committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Mr Lee holds no position in FAS. He was in the news for the wrong reasons last year when he was embroiled in a Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) probe that shook the local football fraternity.

He was one of four people arrested, but not charged as yet, in relation to possible misuse of funds for a $500,000 donation made by Tiong Bahru Football Club.

In accordance with article 32.8 of the AFC statutes, a candidate's nomination must be put forward by his home association, in this instance the FAS.

It is curious that Mr Lee, who resigned last December, has the absolute backing of FAS.

A much better candidate is former Singapore captain Razali Saad, who is more than qualified for the role as a serving FAS exco member.

With 53 A international caps, playing for Singapore from 1984 to 1993, he was also a key member of the famed Dream Team that played in the 1993 FAM Semi-Pro League. Mr Razali, who currently serves on the Board of Sport Singapore (SportSG), is still regarded as an influential figure in football grassroots.

He has been involved at every level from player to administration and management.

His breadth and depth of football experience make him an excellent role model and a value-add potential ambassador.

Mr Razali, 54, who has been involved in the sport for three decades, will continue to provide a meaningful contribution across all levels of football.

He would be perfect for nomination to the AFC.

A. Thiyaga Raju

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2018, with the headline 'Better choices out there for AFC exco seat'. Print Edition | Subscribe