NS deferment: Balancing national pride and individual pursuits

The rule has been clear and consistent for sportsmen seeking long-term deferment of their national service obligations: Only those representing Singapore at international competitions or those with medal prospects who can bring national pride will be given deferment consideration.

On paper, footballer Ben Davis, 17, who is the first Singaporean given a professional contract with an English Premier League club, does not meet the criteria.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Balancing national pride and individual pursuits'. Subscribe