SEA Games: Unfair for football association to name players who broke curfew, says SNOC

Singapore National Olympic Council secretary-general Chris Chan (left) speaks to Singapore media during the SEA Games round-up in Clark, the Philippines, on Dec 11, 2019. With him is Juliana Seow, Team Singapore's chef de mission. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

CLARK - Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) secretary-general Chris Chan has criticised the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for their decision to reveal the identities of the nine footballers who broke curfew at the SEA Games in the Philippines.

He said at a post-mortem of Singapore's performance at the SEA Games on Wednesday (Dec 11): "I don't think it's fair to name the person first until you've finished a thorough investigation. I'm surprised they named the players."

Following the incident last week, the SNOC said in a press statement on Dec 5 that the footballers were given a stern warning and would face disciplinary hearings upon their return to Singapore.

The FAS issued a statement the next day naming the six players - Zharfan Rohaizad, Joshua Pereira and Lionel Tan (all 22), Kenji Rusydi and Zulqarnaen Suzliman (both 21), and overaged player Tajeli Salamat, 25 - from the Under-22 team, adding that they could expect stiff sanctions from the FAS.

Three more players, Shah Shahiran, Hami Syahin and Saifullah Akbar, all 20, were named by the association on Monday.

Chan also said any additional action taken by the FAS against the nine players would not affect the council's own disciplinary proceedings.

He added: "I don't have the full details as I'm waiting for the full report from the FAS. As far as we are concerned, what happened comes under our jurisdiction.

"There is a team membership agreement and within the team membership agreement, we have the code of conduct. We are very clear that whatever the athletes do here comes under the SNOC disciplinary committee."

Chan added the SNOC are consulting their lawyers and noted: "We are still unclear what jurisdiction the FAS is purporting to exercise over the nine. We're waiting for FAS to establish and justify the basis of their additional action."

On Wednesday night, the nine players all attended a disciplinary meeting, which lasted about two hours, at FAS headquarters at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Chair of the FAS disciplinary committee K. Bala Chandran said the hearing will be adjourned, most likely to early January, as there are some "procedeural issues" to sort out.

The Young Lions had a dismal campaign in the Philippines.

They ended fourth in the six-team Group B with one win, one draw and three losses and failed to reach the semi-finals for a third straight Games.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.