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Football Association of Singapore president Lim Kia Tong dies aged 70; 4 SPL matches postponed

SINGAPORE — Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Lim Kia Tong died on Wednesday (Sept 14), aged 70. 

Lim Kia Tong (second from right) and Mr Edwin Tong (right), vice-president of the Football Association of Singapore from 2013 to 2020, at a press conference in 2017 after Lim's election as the association's president.

Lim Kia Tong (second from right) and Mr Edwin Tong (right), vice-president of the Football Association of Singapore from 2013 to 2020, at a press conference in 2017 after Lim's election as the association's president.

  • The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said on Wednesday that its president Lim Kia Tong has died earlier in the day
  • Lim, 70, was also the head of the criminal litigation department at Hin Tat Augustine & Partners
  • FAS, his law firm, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong were among those who paid tribute to Lim

SINGAPORE — Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Lim Kia Tong died on Wednesday (Sept 14), aged 70. 

The association said in a Facebook post that it was "devastated" to receive the news of the “sudden passing” of Lim, who had served as its first elected president since 2017. The cause of death was not stated.

He was “a dedicated servant of the sport he loved”, FAS said.

A tribute will be set up in the lobby of the FAS office at Jalan Besar Stadium from Thursday for those who would like to pay their respects, the association added.

“On behalf of the FAS council, secretariat and the wider football fraternity, we send our deepest condolences to the family of the late Mr Lim during their time of grief,” FAS added.

As a mark of respect, this week's Singapore Premier League (SPL) fixtures have been postponed.

The Geylang International-Albirex Niigata and Lion City Sailors-Young Lions matches, originally scheduled for Friday, will be played on Oct 22. Hougang United vs Balestier Khalsa and Tampines Rovers vs Tanjong Pagar United have been moved from Saturday to Oct 21.

Lim was also the head of the criminal litigation department at Hin Tat Augustine & Partners.

When contacted, the law firm paid tribute to Lim, noting that he was a “well-loved member of the firm” who was a “hardworking, dedicated and excellent lawyer”.

“He gained the confidence and respect of all he served as a lawyer and would ensure that he did his utmost for all his clients.

“In spite of his extremely busy schedule, he would always make time for anyone who needed his help and was unstinting in the support of his colleagues and friends,” the firm said.

“All of us at Hin Tat Augustine & Partners are devastated by his sudden passing and he will be dearly missed.”

Lim was first elected as FAS president for a four-year term in 2017, after his team won 30-13 in the association's inaugural elections over Team Game Changers, which was spearheaded by Hougang United chairman Bill Ng.

Lim was re-elected as president for another four-year term in April 2021.

Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said in a tribute on Facebook that he could scarcely believe the messages he had received about Lim’s death, because he had just been in touch with Lim over the weekend.

Mr Tong, who is also Second Minister for Law, said that he had known Lim for some time at the Bar, and described him as a dedicated and tenacious litigator who “always fought his cases with an uncommon compassion and with a lot more heart than many would know”.

“I joined him on the FAS Council in 2013 and immediately saw a different side of him,” Mr Tong said, adding that Lim was “consumed with doing his best to lift Singapore football”.

“The football fraternity as well as those at the Bar will miss him greatly. I, too, will miss a friend and confidant dearly,” Mr Tong said. “My deepest condolences to Kia Tong’s family, and may he rest in peace.”

Beyond FAS, Lim also served as a member of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee, and was re-elected into the committee for a four-year term last May.

Geylang International, Tampines Rovers and Tanjong Pagar United football clubs were among a few football teams here that took to Facebook to express their condolences following FAS’ announcement.

“We extend our sincere condolences to his family, and along with the Singapore footballing fraternity, thank him for his service to local football,” Tampines Rovers said.

Geylang International said that they stand in mourning together with FAS and the wider Singapore football family, and send their condolences to Lim’s family.

Tanjong Pagar United said: “The Jaguars would like to express our condolences to his family and loved ones. Thank you for your service to Singapore football, Mr Lim. rest in peace.”

Related topics

football FAS death lawyer Lim Kia Tong Jalan Besar Stadium Sports

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