FAS elections: Change vs the Establishment

IAN DE COTTA

WHEN MEMBER clubs cast their vote for a new FAS Council tomorrow, they will put the future of Singapore football either in the hands of a team who know first-hand the quagmire the game is in or those who think they do.

The two slates are polar opposites.

Game Changers have on their side a whopping nine current and former S-League and NFL club officials and one veteran national skipper.

Team LKT, on the other hand, are heavy on ex-FAS council members. In stark contrast, they only have two serving and retired chairmen, one former Singapore captain, a woman’s club player and a coach on their team.

Barring a last-minute suspension of voting, given the events of the past two weeks, if Bill Ng’s team is victorious, Singapore football will begin an entirely new journey. Managing at the ground level, his team have a good idea what it is like to look up at the FAS ivory tower with muted voices and know what is broken there.

Clubs, especially in the NFL, have been starved of good policies for far too long and this has led to the state of the game today. They are familiar with the ground they work on, know exactly where the dead bodies are and have capable administrators in the team to unearth and fix them.

If Team LKT wins, the hope is that they have repented of the ineptitude of the former FAS Council they had served in and are humbled that members have given them a second chance. They need to get down from their pedestal and sincerely correct the missteps of the former Council.

That is not to say, they don’t have capable men from the ground. They do, at least in former Tampines boss Teo Hock Seng. Hopefully, they seek his wise council.

But the first order of business for the winning team must be to overhaul the administration of football. Get rid of those who have hurt the sport but retain those who have done what they could for the good of the game.

If this is not done, then, we’ll get more of the same, maybe even worse, that the last 10-odd years have given clubs, players and fans.

THE TEAMS

GAME CHANGERS

PRESIDENT
Bill Ng, chairman of Hougang United and Tiong Bahru FC. Founder of private equity firm Financial Frontiers

DEPUTY PRESIDENT
Lau Kok Keng, lawyer and former vice-president of Geylang International

VICE-PRESIDENTS
Annabel Pennefather, lawyer and Singapore Olympic Council vice-president
Krishna Ramachandra, lawyer and chairman of Tampines Rovers
Dr Teoh Chin Sim, Team Singapore chief medical officer at the 2015 SEA Games
Zaki Ma’arof, director of Yama Medical Supplies and president of National Football League Division 2 club Kaki Bukit SC

COUNCIL MEMBERS (SLATE)
Harman Ali, co-founder and head coach of the Global Football Academy and president of NFL Division 2 club GFA Victoria
Samad Allapitchay, former national captain
Christopher Wong, pilot and vice-chairman of Tampines Rovers

INDIVIDUAL COUNCIL MEMBERS
Lai Boon Teck, former Fifa referee
Shahri Rahim, former national goalkeeper and president of NFL Division 2 club South Avenue
Jeffrey Sim, treasurer of Hougang United
Adrian Quek, executive manager of a sports management company and former Geylang International general manager

 

LKT

PRESIDENT
Lim Kia Tong, lawyer, Fifa disciplinary committee deputy chairman and former FAS vice-president

DEPUTY PRESIDENT
Bernard Tan, ST Engineering’s chief marketing officer

VICE-PRESIDENTS
Edwin Tong, lawyer and Marine Parade GRC MP
Thavaneson, Balestier Khalsa chairman
Teo Hock Seng, Komoco Motors group managing director
Razali Saad, former national captain

COUNCIL MEMBERS (SLATE)
Dinesh Nair, FAS medical committee chairman
Forrest Li, founder of online gaming portal Garena
Darwin Jalileam, manager of the NFL Division 1 club Eunos Crescent FC

INDIVIDUAL COUNCIL MEMBERS
Lim Tong Hai, former national captain and ITE senior lecturer
Sharda Parvin, Tanjong Pagar United women’s player
Michael Foo, People’s Association director for community sports
Rizal Rasudin, chairman of NFL Division 2 club Admiralty CSC
Kelvin Teo, chief executive of Sembcorp’s Urban Development business
Yakob Hashim, coach of NFL Division 1 club Yishun Sentek Mariners