Football: Ex-FAS general secretary Winston Lee withdraws candidacy for AFC exco seat

Former FAS general secretary Winston Lee was embroiled in a Commercial Affairs Department probe that shook the local fraternity ahead of the FAS elections in 2017.
Former FAS general secretary Winston Lee was embroiled in a Commercial Affairs Department probe that shook the local fraternity ahead of the FAS elections in 2017.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) general secretary Winston Lee withdrew his candidacy for one of nine seats on the executive committee members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), just before the Asian football body's congress in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (April 6).

The FAS said in a statement that Lee, 53, informed them of his decision on Saturday morning.

"With his withdrawal, the three remaining candidates for AFC Exco (Asean zone) will be voted in uncontested," said the FAS in a media statement.

The three are Hamidin Amin (Malaysia), Tran Quoc Tuan (Vietnam) and Chris Nikou (Australia).

Lee, who was a vice-president at the AFC, was embroiled in a Commercial Affairs Department probe that shook the local fraternity ahead of the FAS elections in 2017.

The investigation into a possible misuse of funds was sparked by the revelation of a $500,000 donation made by Tiong Bahru Football Club, through the FAS, to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) for a Football Management System.

A police raid was carried out on four locations - the FAS' Jalan Besar headquarters, and the clubhouses of S-League/Singapore Premier League club Hougang United, "sit-out" S-League club Woodlands Wellington and National Football League club Tiong Bahru FC.

 
 

All three clubs were connected to Bill Ng, who was then chairman of both Hougang and Tiong Bahru, and who unsuccessfully challenged Lim Kia Tong for the FAS presidency in 2017.

Lee was one of four people arrested - the others being Ng, his wife Bonnie and former FAS president Zainudin Nordin - but no charges have been brought in relation to the matter.

At Saturday's AFC congress, Sheikh Salman Sheikh Salman Ebrahim al-Khalifa, a member of Bahrain's ruling family, was voted in as president unopposed.

A further five vice-presidents, six Fifa Council Members, five female executive committee members and a nine AFC executive committee members were also elected at the congress, which takes place once every four years.