FAS saga: Neither Team LKT nor Game Changers believe police probe will affect their chances at April 29 election

Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra (right) said that Team LKT, led by Lim Kia Tong (left), should not be seen as election favourites.
Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra (right) said that Team LKT, led by Lim Kia Tong (left), should not be seen as election favourites.PHOTOS: ST FILE, THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The two teams contesting the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election have told The Straits Times on Saturday (April 22) that the ongoing police probe into an allege misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru FC will not undermine their efforts to win the votes in a week's time.

The investigations, which started with raids on three football clubs and the FAS offices on Thursday, came after the national sport governing body Sport Singapore made a police report against Tiong Bahru on Wednesday night.

Former FAS president Zainudin Nordin and current general secretary Winston Lee were also questioned by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), in addition to Tiong Bahru chairman Bill Ng and his wife Bonnie Wong.

Tampines Rovers chairman and lawyer Krishna Ramachandra, a vice-presidential candidate on Ng's Game Changers team, told ST that their opponents - Team LKT, led by former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong - should not be seen as favourites at the April 29 polls.

Krishna said: "I do not believe that they have the upper hand. In fact, I believe the electorate in this instance will appreciate the nuances and look upon the developments as part of the catharsis that must inevitably happen.

"I do not look at it as a saga but more of a justifiable enquiry which will hopefully clarify issues that relate to the entire administration of football in the current ecosystem.

"Humbly I state that integrity is for others to judge and not for one to assert."

During the raids that lasted several hours, CAD officers carted away documents and computers from the clubhouses of Tiong Bahru, Woodlands Wellington and Hougang United, as well as the Jalan Besar Stadium offices of the FAS.

Lim, a lawyer who is challenging for the FAS presidency, said the historic election - the first time the 44 FAS affiliates will choose its leaders - has been "tarnished and marred by certain things that happened."

He stressed his team's message of wanting to "create change, bring about inclusiveness and work with integrity."

"As you can see so far every member [of his team] has been cleared at every stage so we have what it takes to bring football forward."

He declined to discuss Ng's eligibility to run and stressed his team were ready for the contest. He added: "We will adopt a very cautious approach. We cannot be over-confident.

"In the meantime we will be engaging voters to tell them that we are the better team."