SINGAPORE - He is the newly elected Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president after his team defeated Bill Ng's slate by 30-13 votes at the much anticipated FAS election on Saturday (April 29).
Yet Lim Kia Tong is no stranger to the local football scene, having been involved for 25 years. Here are five facts about the man of the moment, tasked with the highest football post in Singapore until the end of this term in 2021.
1. A veteran lawyer
The 64-year-old Lim is a lawyer with more than 36 years of practice and head of the criminal department at Hin Tat Augustine and Partners. Even though he conducts both civil and criminal litigation cases, the majority of his legal practice is devoted to criminal cases both at the Subordinate Courts and the Supreme Courts level.
2. Long history with FAS
Lim's association with the FAS dates back to 1992 when he joined its disciplinary committee (DC). He then became a council member in April 1999, before becoming vice-president from April 2007. He was also the association's interim president for five months (November 2016 to March 2017) after the previous council's term expired on November 15, 2016.
3. Well-regarded in international football circles
He became the first Singaporean to assume a leadership role on a Fifa committee when he was elected its DC's deputy chairman in May 2013 for four years. Lim was also a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) legal committee from 2003 to 2006 and its DC from 2007 to 2011. He has been the AFC DC's chairman since March 2011 and will continue at least until July 2019.
4. His love of the law extends beyond his legal work
As early as 1996, Lim was part of the Volunteer Special Constabulary (VSC), part of the Singapore Police Force and vested with equal powers of a police officer and the opportunity to enforce law and order in Singapore. In December 2011, Lim was VSC's acting commander VSC and deputy assistant commissioner (V).
5. Involved in high-profile football cases
Lim was part of the panel which found Uruguay striker Luis Suarez guilty of biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 Fifa World Cup. He also led disciplinary proceedings against former AFC president Mohamed Hammam. The Qatari was later banned from football for life in 2011 due to bribery allegations linked to Fifa's presidential election.