FAS to hold first-ever elections on April 29; Teo Hock Seng joins Lim Kia Tong's team
SINGAPORE – A historic new chapter in Singapore football will be written on April 29 – the date set by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for its first-ever election of office bearers.
The national sports association (NSA) officially called for its elections in a media release that was sent out today (Mar 18). This came after they cleared the final administrative hurdle of implementing an electoral code, which defines the regulations and procedures in the organising of an election.
The elections on April 29, a Saturday, will be a landmark moment for the FAS, whose office-bearers were previously appointed by the government.
It will be held at the Sport Singapore (Black Box) Auditorum at the Singapore Sports Hub. Registration for voting begins at 9am, and voting proceedings will begin at 11am.
Under the new FAS constitution, which was voted through in November, FAS presidential candidates will have to contest for the post as part of a slate of nine, which includes the deputy president, four vice-presidents and three council members.
There are six other member seats in the 15-man FAS council that interested candidates can contest as individuals. The term of office is from 2017 to 2021.
However, all election candidates will have to meet certain eligibility criteria before they are allowed to contest for a seat on the council.
This includes the need for any FAS presidential candidate to have played an active role in association football in two of the last five years.
In addition, FAS council candidates must pass integrity checks before they can stand for elections.
A total of 46 FAS affiliates – comprising nine S.League teams, 24 National Football League (NFL) clubs, five clubs from the Women’s Premier League and eight others – will be eligible to vote in the elections.
Currently, only Hougang United chairman Bill Ng (above, left) has publicly announced that he will be forming a team to contest the elections.
Ng, a mergers and acquisitions specialist by trade, had previously said in an interview with TODAY that he intends to bring the ‘Kallang Roar’ back and lead Singapore football back to its “glory days”.
“Like many of those from my generation and the next, we believe in Singapore football and how it made us feel as a nation,” said the 56-year-old.
“We loved the glory days because of the success, the icons that contributed to that success, and the way we achieved that success, built the romance around the Singapore game. Quality football leads to audiences, and audiences generate the incentive for quality football — both on the pitch and financially.
“However, we are currently in a vicious cycle where we are producing neither. Ending that rut is going to be our new team’s focus, to bring back the ‘Kallang Roar’ and to give the Roar a foundation to exist for the many generations to come.”
The only other confirmed member of Ng’s team is Tampines Rovers Krishna Ramachandra (above, right). TODAY understands however, that Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) vice-president Annabel Pennefather will also be in Ng’s corner for the elections.
Said Ramachandra: “I think the situation is pretty dire and after what we experienced with the uncertainty around the S.League in the last few months, I realised that I had to step up and help transform the football ecosystem for something as basic as its survival and viability.
“I also believe that Bill has assembled a team that is capable of transformative and paradigm shifting changes. So if I can help in anyway, I will. From what I have observed over the last few months, I think a radical shift in leadership is needed.”
Ng is likely to face competition for Singapore’s top footballing post from former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong (above, centre), who was tasked by the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to helm the association’s provisional council throughout the electoral period.
Lim’s team is expected to comprise several members of the former FAS council such as Bernard Tan and Edwin Tong (above, right), as well as Balestier Khalsa chairman S Thavaneson (above, left)
In a boost to Lim's team, former Tampines Rovers chairman Teo Hock Seng, who stepped down from the club in November 2015, has joined Lim.
The veteran and popular football official, known in the local fraternity as the Godfather of Singapore football for his outspoken views, and for looking after the welfare of local footballers, is also the group managing director of Komoco Motors, the sole distributor of Hyundai cars.
Hyundai was recently unveiled as the co-title sponsor of the S.League for this season and 2018.
The development also means a former Tampines chairman will be up against a current one. Hyundai is no longer the sponsor of Tampines Rovers after a long and illustrious partnership with the club.