Football officials must address accusations of unprofessionalism

As an avid fan of local football, I am quite disturbed by the accusations of unprofessionalism, opportunism and player exploitation levelled at Balestier Khalsa Football Club and its chairman S. Thavaneson (Shame to offer 11-month contracts to footballers, by Mr Michael Ang York Poon, Jan 6; FAS officials must show sincerity going forward, by Mr Chan Siang Ming, Jan 10; and What ails Singapore football?, by Mr Neo Poh Goon, Jan 12).

It baffles me that neither the club nor Mr Thavaneson has responded to the criticism.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) should also comment on how widespread the issue of the 11-month playing contract is.

Furthermore, Mr Thavaneson, who is also FAS vice-president, has been embroiled in a "conflict of interest" saga within the FAS Council. While the FAS' own disciplinary committee would usually handle the brawl at the Yishun Sentek Mariners v Safsa match, it has had to appoint an independent panel to prevent a conflict of interest because a council member, Mr Yakob Hashim, is also a Yishun official.

It may be timely for Mr Thavaneson to step aside and allow other more ambitious officials to uplift our football standards to their old heights again.

Sukhvinderpal Singh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2018, with the headline 'Football officials must address accusations of unprofessionalism'. Print Edition | Subscribe