Former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) vice-president Lim Kia Tong said he had no knowledge of a S$500,000 donation in 2015 that ended up going to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).
Lim heads up Team LKT, who are running against Team Game Changers in Saturday’s FAS elections. The money for AFF came from Game Changers’ boss, Bill Ng, who said he intended for the funds to be used for Singapore grassroots’ football development rather than for a regional body. Either Ng or Lim is likely to be the next FAS president.
Although Lim was part of the FAS Council at the time, he was not aware of the gift from Hougang United and Tiong Bahru chairman Ng, or its intended destination.
“In all honesty, myself and the other council members did not know about how and who triggered this idea of donation or sponsorship to the AFF,” Ng told the New Paper. “This is a fact.
“There was no discussion, this subject matter was never raised at council meetings or executive committee meetings. That is the truth of the matter.”
However Team LKT did call for the more thorough tracking of future donations to FAS, with greater transparency.
“There is no donation policy because the FAS rarely gets any donations. Donations to the FAS are extremely rare, you can count them with one hand,” said Bernard Tan, the team’s candidate for deputy president.
“Moving forward, should we have a donation policy? In hindsight and, in light of everything that has happened, I would say ‘yes’.
“With a degree of confidence, this unique transaction is not reflective of the state of financial management in FAS, which is one of the better-managed NSAs [national sports associations] in terms of financial affairs.”
The AFF used the S$500,000 for their Football Management System project, which helps its member associations and clubs to download contract templates and log into player databases.
Last week, FAS general secretary Winston Lee released documents to show that it was former FAS president Zainudin Nordin who had liaised with Ng over the donation and explained what the money would be used for.
On April 20, the FAS offices and the clubhouses of Tiong Bahru FC, Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington were raided by Singapore authorities.
That was after national sports agency Sport Singapore filed a police report over “suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru FC’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”.
Despite the ongoing investigation, Tan insists that there should be no postponement of Saturday’s election.
“We see no reason why the election should not proceed,” he said.
“We will proceed, we will continue to work and ask our affiliates and show them we deserve their vote. We should run the campaign that we need to work for each vote.”
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