Delayed disciplinary hearing poor call by FAS

The recent Football Association of Singapore (FAS) decision to get an independent panel to oversee the disciplinary hearings over the brawl between Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (Safsa) and Yishun Sentek Mariners despite having its own disciplinary committee raises questions (NFL season to end with panel yet to convene; Dec 5).

The FAS is the governing body of football in Singapore. It presides over the laws of the game which clubs, officials, players and spectators must adhere to. If the FAS cannot depend on its own disciplinary committee to handle this matter, the implication is that it has no confidence in its impartiality.

Furthermore, the decision to convene the hearings, and the resulting verdict and potential punishment, after the final matches of the 2017 season means that there was no punitive effect on either team, as they completed their last game without any penalties over the brawl.

What makes it a very poor call is that their final game had a bearing on which of the two clubs would be crowned champions.

It is ironic that one of these clubs won the 2017 championship without having to face the verdict on a serious offence committed during the same season. To have their potential punishment postponed to the next season does not make much sense and is not in tune with the laws of the game.

It shows that there is no discipline in the FAS-run league.

George Pasqual

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'Delayed disciplinary hearing poor call by FAS'. Print Edition | Subscribe