Parliament

Findings of police probe into football funds under AGC review

Commercial Affairs Department officers removing documents from the Football Association of Singapore office during a raid in 2017. TNP FILE PHOTO
Commercial Affairs Department officers removing documents from the Football Association of Singapore office during a raid in 2017. TNP FILE PHOTO

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) is reviewing the findings of a Commercial Affairs Department investigation into an alleged misuse of funds which resulted in police raids in 2017 of the offices of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and three local football clubs, Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam said yesterday.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question from Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), he added that it is not appropriate to comment further at this point.

The police report was made by national agency Sport Singapore in April 2017, ahead of the FAS election held that month. The poll was a landmark for local football as affiliates were, for the first time, allowed to elect their leaders. Previous office-bearers were appointed by the Government until this practice was found to contravene world body Fifa's regulations in 2015.

Lawyer Lim Kia Tong was eventually voted in as FAS president. His slate of nine, called Team LKT, won the vote 30-13, beating the team Game Changers, fielded by Hougang United and Tiong Bahru Football Club chairman Bill Ng.

The police probe in 2017 was sparked by a revelation of a $500,000 donation by amateur club Tiong Bahru through the FAS to the Asean Football Federation in support of its football management system in 2014.

Police raids were carried out in four locations - the FAS' Jalan Besar headquarters and the clubhouses of Hougang United, a professional team in the S-League (now rebranded as the Singapore Premier League), Tiong Bahru and inactive former S-League side Woodlands Wellington.

Mr Ng was arrested, along with his wife Bonnie, former FAS general secretary Winston Lee and former FAS president Zainudin Nordin. No charges have been brought in relation to the matter.

The FAS will hold its next election, which will see 40 ordinary members vote in person at Orchard Hotel, on April 28.

Mr Lim is set to return for a second four-year term, with his nine-person slate comprising a president, deputy president, four vice-presidents and three council members, unchallenged. The other six council members will be elected from eight candidates.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2021, with the headline 'Findings of police probe into football funds under AGC review'. Subscribe