Ministry, SportSG did not influence FAS' vote

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is free to take its own decisions in dealing with its continental and international counterparts - as should be the case.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said yesterday that Singapore's lone "Yes" vote at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) extraordinary congress on Tuesday in India was a move made independently.

Then, 42 out of 44 members voted down the agenda set for the congress, leading to the postponement of an election for three spots to Fifa's new governing council. One member abstained.

FAS president Zainudin Nordin is gunning for one of the seats, as was Qatar's Saoud Al-Mohannadi. The latter was banned by Fifa from standing in the election days before the congress for refusing to cooperate with an inquiry.

"We have no role to play in this episode," said Ms Fu. "We were not consulted, neither do we wish to be consulted. This is an FAS issue, the FAS takes its own decision."

Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin added: "It is not my role to advise the FAS president on how he should or should not vote in an AFC vote, in matters pertaining to Fifa. What's at play there is probably a lot more complex than what we can currently understand. It's best left to see how the dynamics evolve, and we'll manage that accordingly."

The FAS is also in the midst of making constitutional changes requested by Fifa, which does not tolerate government intervention in football associations.

May Chen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2016, with the headline 'Ministry, SportSG did not influence FAS' vote'. Print Edition | Subscribe