Ben Davis saga: Time to relook NS deferment criteria for team sports?

Athletes in individual sports are more likely to get the nod over those from team sports

Ben Davis trains with the national team on March 20, 2018.
Ben Davis trains with the national team on March 20, 2018.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Left: The national men's hockey team celebrating their win at the Hockey Series Open earlier this month. From top: Only swimmers Joseph Schooling and Quah Zheng Wen, and sailor Maximilian Soh were granted long-term deferments over the last 15 years.
The national men's hockey team celebrating their win at the Hockey Series Open earlier this month. PHOTOS: ST FILE

The Ben Davis episode has sparked a national conversation on long-term national service deferment for national athletes.

The 17-year-old footballer will have to return to Singapore in December to serve NS after his application for deferment was rejected by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), jeopardising his hopes of pursuing a professional career with English Premier League (EPL) club Fulham.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Time to relook NS deferment criteria for team sports?'. Subscribe