FAS election 2017

Football: FAS refutes Bill Ng's claims, no misuse of donations

Hougang United chairman Bill Ng claimed he had donated about $850,000 to the FAS since 2012, but was unsure where the money went.
Hougang United chairman Bill Ng claimed he had donated about $850,000 to the FAS since 2012, but was unsure where the money went.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Game Changers keep mum on FAS' strongly-worded remarks that rebut earlier insinuations

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) reiterated yesterday it will not stand by as aspersions are cast on the integrity of its administrators, a day after questions were asked about almost a million dollars' worth of donations it received.

In an e-mail, an FAS spokesman said: "We will not condone any attempt to cast doubts on the integrity of the association and we reserve all our rights in this regard."

The rebuke comes after Hougang United chairman Bill Ng claimed he had donated about $850,000 to the FAS since 2012 but was unsure where the money went.

He is leading a team to contest the FAS elections on April 29 and was speaking at the unveiling of his team's manifesto on Thursday.

He also told those present to "call (FAS general secretary) Winston Lee" to find out what happened to the money.

In all, the FAS addressed the issue with two separate statements.

In the first, sent just after midnight yesterday, Lee called the accusations "baseless and untrue" and said the FAS "will take the necessary action against parties who wilfully accuse the association of improper fund management".

FUNDS ALL ACCOUNTED FOR

FAS will take the necessary action against parties who wilfully accuse the association of improper fund management.

WINSTON LEE , FAS general secretary, categorically denying Team Game Changers leader Bill Ng's implication that funds he had donated had gone missing.

He clarified that the FAS received a total of three payments amounting to $715,000 that could be linked with Ng.

The first was a $200,000 donation in 2012 - to the now-defunct LionsXII ahead of their first season in the Malaysian Super League - from a sponsor that Ng had introduced to the FAS.

The second was a $500,000 donation in 2014 from National Football League (NFL) team Tiong Bahru FC, which Ng had taken over in 2005.

The money was then donated to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) to support its football management system.

Lee emphasised that Ng donated the $500,000 knowing it would go to the AFF, not the FAS.

Another $15,000 was raised when Ng supported the FAS via its Charity Golf Day.

The FAS' second statement also included a quote from the AFF on the football management system.

In it, the AFF spokesman said it is "(an) initiative aimed at enhancing the capabilities of football associations and clubs, which will then better position them to achieve success in key result areas including but not limited to income generation, information technology, corporate governance, and facilities utilisation, among others."

The spokesman added that the system will be launched "within the next nine to 12 months" and thanked a Singapore NFL club for a $500,000 donation.

When The Straits Times approached Ng's team to address the disparity in donation figures, a spokesman for the team, dubbed Team Game Changers, said they will refrain from commenting for now.

The landmark FAS elections will be contested by two teams. The other team, called Team LKT, is led by lawyer Lim Kia Tong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2017, with the headline 'FAS refutes ng's claims, no misuse of donations'. Print Edition | Subscribe