FAS election 2017

Football: Teams stage last-minute bids to woo voters in FAS election

Team LKT'S Bernard Tan and former national captain Lim Tong Hai in the studios of radio station One FM yesterday. The Game Changers' Dr Teoh Chin Sim (back to camera) addressing affiliates at Padi@Bussorah on Thursday evening.
The Game Changers' Dr Teoh Chin Sim (back to camera) addressing affiliates at Padi@Bussorah on Thursday evening.PHOTO: COURTESY OF JOSE RAYMOND
Team LKT'S Bernard Tan and former national captain Lim Tong Hai in the studios of radio station One FM yesterday. The Game Changers' Dr Teoh Chin Sim (back to camera) addressing affiliates at Padi@Bussorah on Thursday evening.
Team LKT'S Bernard Tan and former national captain Lim Tong Hai in the studios of radio station One FM yesterday.PHOTO: COURTESY OF EDWIN YEO

Final day on the hustings as Game Changers and Team LKT prepare for today's election

One side - the Game Changers - will don white polo shirts which sport badges of a ferocious lion, befitting its slogan "Roaring into a new era".

The other - Team LKT - will be clad in blue, symbolising the virtues of truth, trust and loyalty.

Today, the two teams contesting the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election, the Game Changers and Team LKT, will meet face to face for the first time.

And the month-long battle to win the hearts, minds and votes of the 44 affiliates will come to a head at the Black Box Auditorium at the Sports Hub.

Up for grabs are 15 council seats, of which nine will be taken by the winning slate with six others to be elected from among 14 individual candidates.

However, observers say what is really at stake is the future of Singapore football, the nation's No. 1 sport which should be bouncing along but is currently deflated.

 
 

Both teams, who have been walking the ground long before the FAS called for the election on March 18, are well aware there is much to do. Yesterday, the last day of campaigning, both made final attempts to convince the electorate .

In an open letter, the Game Changers, led by Hougang United and Tiong Bahru FC chairman Bill Ng, appealed to the voters to give them a chance.

They said: "There is so much we can do together for Singapore football... But first, we need your trust, and we need your partnership, to help us carry out the revamp and rejuvenation of Singapore football... we hope to bring about a great deal of change if we have that opportunity to lead the sport in Singapore."

Team LKT also issued a closing statement to rally their supporters, where they emphasised their experience.

Their nominee for the deputy president's post, Bernard Tan, said: "We ask the voters to vote for an FAS whose leadership is one that stakeholders can trust completely to operate with transparency and integrity and retain the confidence of all...Where Team LKT has a key advantage is that it can hit the ground running.  We know the organisation and we know the eco-system."  

One of the independent candidates, Sebastian Tan, also hopes the voters can "look at the big picture".

"With my 23-year experience as a law enforcement officer, I will be able to provide independent checks and balances on the new council," he said.

A Game Changers spokesman, meanwhile, said the team were "confident, happy and relaxed" ahead of the vote, despite the events of the last nine days, which saw the clubhouses of Hougang and Tiong Bahru raided by police, along with those of Woodlands Wellington and the FAS offices.

Ng is out on bail along with his wife Bonnie Wong, former FAS president and former MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Zainudin Nordin and current FAS general secretary Winston Lee.

The raids and arrests followed a police report lodged by national sports agency Sport Singapore into the suspected misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru and a purported attempt to delay audits into S-League sit-out clubs.

A Team LKT spokesman said: "We are cautious and don't want to be over-confident. Mr Bill Ng has supporters and the key will be those affiliates who are sitting on the fence. We are not assuming we have the numbers but we think it will be close."

RELATED ARTICLES

'FAS must get house in order after polls'

Confusion over voting procedure on the eve

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Last-minute bids by rivals'. Print Edition | Subscribe