Unfair for FAS to name players under probe: SNOC

Zulqarnaen Suzliman (front) and Joshua Pereira arriving at the Football Association of Singapore headquarters at Jalan Besar Stadium for their disciplinary hearing last night. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
Zulqarnaen Suzliman (front) and Joshua Pereira arriving at the Football Association of Singapore headquarters at Jalan Besar Stadium for their disciplinary hearing last night. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

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

He said at a post-mortem of Singapore's Games performance yesterday: "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 last Thursday that the footballers were given a stern warning and would face disciplinary hearings upon their return.

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 overage 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 SNOC's 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 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 is consulting its 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."

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

FAS disciplinary committee chairman, K. Bala Chandran, said the hearing will reconvene, most likely in early January, as there are some "procedural 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.


 • Additional reporting by Sazali Abdul Aziz

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2019, with the headline 'Unfair for FAS to name players under probe: SNOC'. Print Edition | Subscribe