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Ex-national footballer under life ban didn't just play 'social football', was involved in organising, refereeing matches: FAS

SINGAPORE — Former national footballer K Kannan did not just play “social football” as incorrectly stated in a recent social media post, but was involved in organising and refereeing football tournaments at the Singapore Indian Association despite a lifetime ban by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

Former national footballer K Kannan (left) won the Golden Boot after scoring the most goals in the Malaysian League in 1987.

Former national footballer K Kannan (left) won the Golden Boot after scoring the most goals in the Malaysian League in 1987.

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  • Former national footballer K Kannan is serving a life ban on all football-related activities
  • A Facebook post by Mr Jose Raymond alleged that Kannan was warned by FAS against playing football with friends
  • FAS said the post left out other details and led to unfair backlash against it
  • It said Kannan was not just playing football socially but also organising and acting as referee for games

 

SINGAPORE — Former national footballer K Kannan did not just play “social football” as incorrectly stated in a recent social media post, but was involved in organising and refereeing football tournaments at the Singapore Indian Association despite a lifetime ban by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

FAS made this point on Thursday (Aug 19) after a Facebook post by former journalist and opposition party member Jose Raymond led to what FAS said was “unfair” reactions against it from the public.

The post published by Mr Raymond on Tuesday said that Mr Kannan, 59, had received a letter from FAS after he was spotted playing “social football with his friends”. 

The letter, which had its last two paragraphs screenshot and published in the post, reminded Kannan that his life ban was for “all football-related activities”. 

FAS said in the letter that unless the ban is lifted or varied, Mr Kannan was “not to partake in any football-related activities either directly or indirectly” and that any violation of the ban would be treated very seriously. 

Mr Raymond wrote: “I thought this was preposterous as an individual should be allowed to play with his friends, as a means to keep fit and age gracefully, especially if it doesn’t involve any football activities directly organised by the FAS or a sanctioned event.”

National broadsheet The Straits Times then ran a report on Tuesday saying that FAS issued the letter to Mr Kannan following a complaint that he had been playing social football at the Singapore Indian Association a month earlier.

FAS disputed that the letter was solely about Kannan playing social football but it was also to warn him against his involvement in football management at the Singapore Indian Association. 

Late on Thursday, FAS said in a media statement that it had responded to a complaint that Mr Kannan was involved in “promoting football, in the running of football activities and in the organisation of various tournaments at the Indian Association... He was also alleged to have been involved as a referee during these tournaments”. 

FAS also said that Mr Raymond had chosen to attach an image of only the last two paragraphs of the letter, but had left out the contents of the second and third paragraphs, which stated that FAS was informed about Kannan being involved in football management and football activities, including as a player, at the Singapore Indian Association. 

FAS said that Mr Raymond’s post “had given the incorrect impression to the public” that it had sent the letter to Mr Kannan because he was found to be playing social football.

“Such an incorrect statement has led to unfair negative reactions against the FAS from the public.” 

The ban on Mr Kannan was imposed from April 18 in 1995.

He was convicted of football-related conspiracy and bribery in 1995 and later served at least 14 months in prison. He was also fined S$45,000, but served a default jail term because he was unable to pay the fine. 

He was also banned for life from participating in activities directly or indirectly related to football. He is listed on FAS’ website as one of 16 players serving such a ban. 

INDIAN ASSOCIATION 'NOT UNDER FAS’ JURISDICTION'

In his post, Mr Raymond also said that Mr Kannan and a legal team from law firm Eugene Thuraisingam LLP have submitted an appeal to FAS to have the ban lifted. 

In the appeal document seen by TODAY, it stated that Mr Kannan had indeed in recent years assisted the Singapore Indian Association in organising football activities for members and youth there, and had also played social football on the premises. 

It referred to Article 75.8 of the FAS Constitution that clearly confines the permanent suspension to only “football management, membership, or the activities of the FAS”.

“We understand that (the Singapore Indian Association) is not an affiliate member of the FAS,” the appeal note read. 

“Accordingly, we take the view that the permanent suspension does not bar our client from playing and assisting in football-related events (at the Singapore Indian Association).”

FAS said on Thursday that Mr Kannan had submitted four appeals before it received his latest one. Three were to FAS between 1999 and 2002, and another was to the Asian Football Confederation in 2000. 

“Each time, his appeal had been carefully considered by the presiding FAS council of the time and was duly rejected,” it added. 

FAS added that the appeal to the Asian Football Confederation was also rejected. 

“It would be inappropriate for the FAS to make any further comment on this matter until an official decision has been made by the current FAS council upon the completion of the due legal process.”  

When contacted by TODAY for his response to FAS’ statement, Mr Raymond said: “The Indian Association is a private club and is not an affiliate of the FAS.

“As such, whatever Kannan does there is considered social football activities, and should not come under the jurisdiction of the FAS and its activities, as stated in the lawyer’s appeal.” 

Mr Kannan was a striker for the national football team in the 1981 and 1983 Southeast Asian Games.

Playing for Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysian League, he had won the Golden Boot after scoring the most goals in the league in 1987. 

TODAY has reached out to the Singapore Indian Association for comment.

Related topics

K Kannan FAS ban football Jose Raymond Singapore Indian Association

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