Sports bodies in the headlines

ATHLETICS

The national track and field body was plagued with infighting soon after the election of Ho Mun Cheong in 2016. It culminated in an extraordinary general meeting being called to vote for new leaders in May 2017, barely 10 months after he assumed office.

The snap polls were called off but fault lines remained.

The bitterness reached its peak in June 2017, when leaked photos of a WhatsApp conversation appeared to show one of SA's vice-presidents instructing staff to get two local coaches into trouble.

That year, a major Games preparation committee (MGPC) was formed to ensure that athletes' preparations for the SEA Games would not be derailed by the officials' internal discord.


FLOORBALL

Last November, the former president of the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA), Sani Mohamed Salim, was jailed for misappropriating SFA funds.

His actions led to the association having outstanding debts totalling about $139,000 as of June 2016 and a bank balance which showed it owed $32.87.

It was also unable to pay suppliers or rent game venues for the annual Singapore Floorball League.


TAEKWONDO

The Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) was suspended by World Taekwondo (WT) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) in May.

Concerns had been raised following the resignations of seven management committee members last year and the move resulted in the formation of a second MGPC in in local sport in two years.

The STF was charged with violating the world body's rules on good governance, among other things. WT had also found "evidence of violations of the WT Code of Ethics Articles 2 (Officials) and 9 (Conflict of Interest)" by STF general manager Lim Teong Chin and his wife Wong Liang Ming, the STF's secretary-general. They have since stepped down.

Current and former athletes had also expressed dissatisfaction with national squad training.

The athletes are now under the care of the MGPC and the STF is now headed by a five-man interim management committee.


SHOOTING

The Singapore Shooting Association (SSA) has been in a long-running dispute with the Singapore Rifle Association (SRA), with a string of lawsuits between the two parties.

In 2017, the SRA sued the SSA for damages arising from two floods at the National Shooting Centre (NSC). The High Court granted judgment in SRA's favour for the second flood, but not the first.

That same year, the SRA sued SSA president Michael Vaz for defamation following remarks he had made in his capacity as Singapore Gun Club chief. It was awarded $30,000 in damages by the High Court.

In May last year, the High Court ruled that SSA chief Vaz, honorary secretary Yap Beng Hui, and treasurer Patrick Chen had "wrongfully conspired to injure" the SRA by procuring a resolution to suspend the latter's rights. The SSA also failed in its bid to seek reimbursement from SRA for the costs of demolishing a range at the NSC in a counterclaim. The matter is under appeal.

The fourth lawsuit, over a breach of confidentiality, saw the High Court awarding the SRA damages.

Vaz was also ordered to pay costs to SRA. The matter is under appeal.


Nicole Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2019, with the headline 'Sports bodies in the headlines'. Print Edition | Subscribe