Local soccer gets dragged through the mud in escalating FAS election saga

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Sport Singapore (SportSG) has filed a police report over the suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club’s (TBFC) funds and a purported attempt by a senior officer of the club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits into the S.League sit-out clubs. The filing of the police report on 19 Apr at about 7.50pm is the latest in the escalating Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election saga.

SportsSG  said that it decided to act after receiving a letter alleging that a senior officer of TBFC instigated another club to unnecessarily “delay and/or obstruct” the completion of audits until after the FAS election next week.

The Police have confirmed that a report has been lodged by the governing body of local sports in relation to a football club, and that they will conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate action against any offenders. It declined further comment as investigations are ongoing.

The Middle Ground reported in their Facebook that Tiong Bahru and Hougang FCs’ clubhouses were raided at 4pm by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. It said that investigators were also seen entering the premises of the FAS, that FAS general secretary Winston Lee was seen accompanying the investigators into a room, and that boxes of documents were seen being moved into a room at the FAS office.

The following is SportsSG’s statement on the topic in full:

On 19 April 2017 at about 7.50pm, SportSG made a police report in respect of suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club’s funds and a purported attempt by a senior officer of the Club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits into the S.League sit-out clubs.

On 3 April 2017, SportsSG received a letter from a named individual alleging that a senior officer of a Football Club had instigated another club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits until after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Elections, scheduled to be held on 29 April 2017, with false reasons. The said audits had been initiated in mid-2016 by the FAS in response to queries by SportsSG. SportsSG is concerned with the impact which this might have on the propriety and integrity of the audits.

Following the media reports that Tiong Bahru Football Club had donated $500,000 to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) through the FAS (Football Association of Singapore), SportSG looked into the matter, and received further information on 18 April 2017. SportsSG subsequently made further checks and received information, which raise some serious questions about the use of funds.

Based on legal advice, SportSG decided to file a police report.

SportSG will also request to meet the FAS’ Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to clarify the way ahead for the upcoming elections.”