SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) general secretary Winston Lee has retracted a statement after hitting out at Hougang United and Tiong Bahru FC chairman Bill Ng.
In a statement issued on Wednesday (April 19) evening at 10.54pm, Lee had accused Ng, a presidential hopeful in the April 29 FAS election, of electioneering.
However, the FAS' communications department later informed the media at 12.11am that it would like to retract Lee's statement.
The FAS communications department said: "We regret that the statement has to be withdrawn for the time being as legal advice is being sought.
"Thank you for your kind understanding, and we apologise for the inconvenience."
Lee had made reference to Ng's statements issued to the media on Tuesday and Wednesday.
He had insisted: "I have already provided conclusive proof of his knowledge of what he was donating for. For him to have parted with a sum as large as $500,000 must also mean that he believed, just like our former President did, that this money to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) will ultimately play a part in the betterment of football in this region including Singapore.
"For him to turn around now and claim that he had no knowledge of it because the public discourse is against the donation, and using this to claim that the administration of football has failed, is simply electioneering.
"The simple fact that he chooses a timing close to the election to question this transaction instead of doing so much earlier since he made the donation is a clear indication of that."
It is believed that Lee is taking legal action and has been advised by his lawyer not to engage further on this issue until an appropriate time.
On April 13, Ng had revealed that he had made a $500,000 donation. He claimed that it was with the intention to help local football. Lee disagreed by countering that the contribution was for the AFF to procure an administrative portal called the football management system.
The dispute escalated into a war of words between the two parties and on Tuesday, Lee produced a letter, cheques and payment vouches bearing Ng's signature to prove that former FAS president Zainudin Nordin had asked for donations and the Tiong Bahru chairman had agreed to help.