Sports

FAS’ Winston Lee dismisses Bill Ng’s claims as “baseless and untrue”

FAS’ Winston Lee dismisses Bill Ng’s claims as “baseless and untrue”
FAS general secretary Winston Lee (left), seen here with then-FAS president Zainudin Nordin in a file photo, has hit back at Bill Ng's claims. TODAY FILE PHOTO
Hougang United chairman had said he does not know where close to S$850,000 in donations went to
Published: 5:35 AM, April 14, 2017
Updated: 11:30 AM, April 14, 2017

SINGAPORE – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has hit back strongly at Hougang United chairman Bill Ng’s claims that he does not know what has happened to the S$850,000 that his clubs Tiong Bahru United and Hougang United have donated to the national football body.

Ng revealed during the Team Game Changers’ press conference at the Fullerton Bay Hotel on Thursday (Apr 11) evening that when he asked FAS how he could contribute to local football, general secretary Winston Lee told him to get his football clubs to donate money to the national sports association. This amounted to around S$850,000, he added.

But Ng added that he has put the matter behind him and would not seek to find out where the funds went, and directed the media to query Lee on the issue.

“I am not in the FAS, my limited answer to you, at best, is to call Winston Lee,” he responded when asked who would know how the funds were used. “I believe that none of the (previous FAS) council knew anything about this (apart from him).”

When asked why he was only revealing the details of the issue now, Ng said he had thought “things would change”, only to realise it would not.

“I thought, because of this love (for football), I tolerated, I waited, (but) perhaps the change was getting a little slow in FAS,” he said.

“This is why I am running for president… Let’s make the change ourselves, so we can roar into a new beginning.”

Hitting back, the FAS sent out a media statement at 12.18a.m on Friday that was attributed to Lee. The statement said that Ng’s claims were “baseless and untrue” and said it would take action “against parties

who wilfully accuse the Association of improper fund management.”

Said Lee in the statement: “In the Team Game Changers’ press conference on Thursday night, their Presidential candidate Mr Bill Ng insinuated impropriety on the management of a sum of money he had donated to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) over a period of a few years.

"In particular, he invited the media to question FAS on what had happened to the money he had donated and claimed to have no knowledge of where the funds had gone after he donated it.

“This is a baseless and untrue accusation.”

Lee proceeded to give the sequence of events regarding donations or sponsorship from Ng.

“In 2012, FAS approached various sponsors and donors to support the LionsXII, which would commence its participation in the Malaysian Super League. The sponsors and donors who came on board included Mr Ng, who introduced a company that donated an amount of $200,000 to the LionsXII,” he said.

“In 2014, FAS spoke to Mr Ng on the subject of supporting the ASEAN Football Federation’s (AFF) Football Management System. Mr Ng supported the project with a donation of $500,000 to AFF through FAS.

“He had full knowledge of what the donation was for, and that none of it came to the FAS.

“To reiterate, Mr Ng knew that the money was not being donated to FAS or any Singapore footballing activity, and to claim it was given to FAS is not factual.

“Mr Ng supported the FAS through the Charity Golf Day and other events which raised approximately $15,000.”

Lee concluded his statement by saying: “All donations and sponsorships from our partners are recorded and accounted for, and we will take the necessary action against parties who wilfully accuse the Association of improper fund management.”