Football

Team LKT promises change, inclusiveness and integrity

Team LKT promises change, inclusiveness and integrity
Lim Kia Tong (right), speaking at the press conference to officially unveil his team for the upcoming FAS elections, on March 31, 2017. Photo: Robin Choo
FAS provisional council president and team unveil 10-point manifesto
Published: 11:00 PM, March 31, 2017
Updated: 1:32 AM, April 1, 2017

SINGAPORE — Change is in the air for local football as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) heads into a landmark election on April 29, and that is what Team LKT headed by FAS interim president Lim Kia Tong has promised if they are voted in at this month’s election of office bearers for the association.

While his 15-strong team of nine-members and six individual candidates includes six current and four former FAS council members, Lim was eager to draw a line between them and the previous regime that was helmed by the previous FAS president Zainudin Nordin.

Indeed, that was one of the first issues that Lim sought to address on Friday evening when he officially unveiled his team members and manifesto in a press conference held at the Ital Auto showroom, as he said that his team would be based on the principles: change, inclusiveness and integrity.

“I’ve often heard our team being labelled with the word ‘incumbent’, but with all due respect, that is not an accurate description,” said Lim, who is a lawyer with Hin Tat Augustine & Partners.

“The previous president had his plans and his own leadership style that will be very different to what I have. Yes, I was on the previous councils, but being inside the council doesn’t meant that you have a lot of say because most of the decisions are made by the executive committee.

“The way my team will manage and handle the FAS is going to very different, with fresh ideas and a different way of working. In short, it is an absolutely new team. I want to work with my team in a consultative manner… I will take advice and input from all parties, and we will make decision jointly.”

Acknowledging that all is not well in local football at the moment, team LKT unveiled their 10-point manifesto for improving the state of the sport in the country.

They are putting their faith behind their plan, as they believe that the implementation of these 10 points will see Singapore football hitting unprecedented growth, resulting in more Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup triumphs for the national team, as well as gold medals at the SEA Games and Asean Para Games.

These include ensuring that professional and amateur tournaments are well-run for member clubs, with a review of the S.League set to be conducted to see how it can be improved in the long run.

“The S.League is of utmost importance to us,” said  Lim when asked what was the team’s thinking with regards to the Asean Super League, and sending a team to take part in it should it materialise.

“If there is any other league out there that will affect our S.League (if we were to be involved in it), we will treat it with some reservation. A lot of our efforts will be placed on the S.League because the  strength of the S.League is the strength of the national team.”

National Football League (NFL) clubs will also receive more attention, with Team LKT hinting at the possibility of a promotion and relegation system being put in place with the S.League in future.

Another objective of Team LKT is to allow for football to be played by people of all ages and abilities, while also creating an elite pathway for aspiring youth players that will increase the quantity and quality of the pool of footballing talent in the country.

The team also promised to work with the relevant authorities such as Sport Singapore to increase the access of footballing facilities to the public.

When told that the ideas in the manifesto did not seem new as they appeared to have been taken from various parts of the FAS’ previous strategic plans, chief marketing officer at ST Engineering Bernard Tan, who will run as the team’s deputy president said: “These are things we feel we can accomplish within the time frame of one or two terms, and we will come out with the results.

“We want an FAS that is accountable, and if this team wins it, we want to be accountable.”

Team LKT will contest the FAS elections against Team Game Changers, which is led by Hougang United chairman Bill Ng.

The landmark elections will see a total of 15 council seats up for grabs in the form of a nine-member slate and six individual seats.

A total of 44 FAS affiliates – comprising nine S.League teams, 23 NFL clubs, and 12 others – will be eligible to vote in the elections.

A minimum of two-thirds of the total votes is needed for teams contesting in a slate to win, while independent candidates need only a simple majority to get voted in.

The election will be held at the Sport Singapore (Black Box) Auditorium at the Singapore Sports Hub.