For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Intriguing Moments Leading to the Landmark Moment on 29/4/17

Something in local football need to be fixed
The election scheduled for the office bearers to the main organ of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is meant to be a watershed moment for the beleaguered sport in this country that has been besieged by woes with no solution within sight.

Stagnancy on and off the field had further stalled any effort to lift the game out of the doldrums when there is not a clear direction to govern the sport's state of affairs since the government-appointed provisional council could not make any strategic decision on major matters before their term ended at the end of last month.

When caught in a situation like this, it is hardly a surprise that nobody wants to "act like hero" to get their hands dirty to fix the loose ends with such a mammoth task given, in spite of some individuals came forward (source 1, source 2) before their enthusiasm fizzled out due to reasons only known to themselves.

Nonetheless, by the closing of registration on the 25th of March, two slates of candidates of nine with 16 individuals put their names forward to vie for a seat in the 15-member FAS Council before an evaluating process saw the final list being confirmed on the 18th of April.

Not unlike any election that occurred around everywhere, fiery exchanges of words between contesting factions begun right from the beginning when two prominent figures from "Team LKT" questioned the motives of the other group, known as "FAS Game Changers", in contesting in the upcoming polls that is scheduled to take place on the 29th of April.

Krishna Ramachandra of "FAS Game Changers" (left)
Those claims drawn a strong rebuttal from Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra, who is part of the "FAS Game Changers" slate, on those remarks made by both Lim Kia Tong and Teo Hock Seng in a video clip that went viral on the cyberspace.

Lim, whose tenure as FAS interim president ended on 31st of March, also had to rubbish off claims suggested he and few senior officials had leveraged on their positions to travel overseas to attend football events outside Singapore than putting energy to revive the ailing sport locally.

At the same time, reasonated why the fraternity should not see "Team LKT" as the "incumbents" (a term they are commonly associated with for having a number of the slate served in the past councils), the 64-year-old Lim, who is a lawyer by profession, said: "The previous president (Zainudin Nordin) had his plans and his own leadership style that will be very different to what I have.

"Yes, I was on the previous councils, but being inside the council doesn’t meant that you have a lot of say because most of the decisions are made by the executive committee." as quoted in a TODAY report on the official unveiling of his slate late last month.

(L-R) Lim Kia Tong and Edwin Tong of "Team LKT"
The claim was echoed by "Team LKT"'s Razali Saad, one of the three former national skippers campaigning in this election, in a separate interview with the Mediacorp newspaper.

In a move to distance themselves from the Zainudin regime, the "Team LKT" denounced the formation of the controversial Asean Super League (ASL), even though several members of this slate, in various capacities, spoke favourable of the pet project of the former Central Singapore CDC mayor in the past (source 1, source 2) which, unsurprisingly, drawn skepticism from some fans.

Proclaimed Lim:"ASL is a commercial outfit which has nothing to do with the FAS. The FAS does not develop a team purely for participation in the ASL." as mentioned in The New Paper, on the brainchild of the one-time Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

Being the first election to be held for the first time after many decades, stringent checks on the candidates are put in place by the relevant authority to ensure only those who fulfilled the strictest criteria can run for the office.

Apart from one candidate who did not meet the cut even after the appeal, another incident that caught the attention was the controversy surrounded National Football League (NFL) Division 2 club Kembangan United's secretary Moklas Ma'arof's decision to withdraw his candidacy.

Following media reports portrayed the 62-year-old as part of "FAS Game Changers" slate, Moklas came out with a statement to explain his decision behind his withdrawal and denied he was part of the slate headed by Hougang United chairman Bill Ng.

That side episode did not deter both "Team LKT" and "FAS Game Changers" from partially filled up their slate and independent candidates aligned to them with those of NFL background, given how important the role in this election is to be played by the amateur football circle.

Given the sizable chulk of voting rights (23 out of the 44 votes) held by the NFL bloc, securing a strong mandate from them is a must with many of those often-felt-neglected teams see this landmark exercise of their right as an opportunity to highlight their plights with hopes to see the new administration to resolve those nagging problems such as lack of pitches to poor scheduling of fixtures.

2017 NFL season is being sponsored by AJINOMOTO (credit: FAS)
Some of those plights were reiterated by Zaki Ma'arof, the president of NFL Division 2 side Kaki Bukit SC, during his official unveiling as part the of "FAS Game Changers" slate when he lamented the lack of proper pitches to train and playing matches.

It was on the same occasion had the slate's presidential candidate Ng questioned the decision made by the government-appointed provisional council in the absence of an actual one, on the extension of contracts of both V Sundram moorthy's and Michel Sablon's as the national coach and technical director respectively not that long ago.

But those were merely appetizers before Ng sent shockwaves within the fraternity when he revealed donations of substantial figures were made by both Hougang United and NFL side Tiong Bahru FC (TBFC), another club helmed by him, in recent years to FAS.

Bill Ng (right) takes a look at a mug at "FAS Game Changers" unveiling
Such revelation from Ng prompted the FAS to respond by issued an immediate statement from its secretary-general Winston Lee to clarify those matters raised and added the willingness to come up with evidence to back themselves up while insisted Ng's awareness of the purposes of those donations (which was later claimed by FAS those donations were made at the request of former president Zainudin).

Those answers did not satisfy the "FAS Game Changers" who disputed those details by released a statement of their own and called for those who are perceived to be involved to be accounted for this saga.

As the result, Lee replied and produced carbon-copies of letter and payment vouchers on 18th of April to prove it was at Zainudin's request that a total sum of $500,000 was donated to Asean Football Federation (AFF) for the developing of Football Management System (FMS) - a claim backed by AFF who clarified their position with a statement of their own, as reported in the media.

On the same evening after Lee's statement, the "FAS Game Changers" Facebook Page posted the reply from Ng who gave his side of the story that had everybody talking about it over the past few days.

The development of events eventually caught the attention of local sports governing body Sport Singapore, the custodian of FAS funding, who demanded a full explanation on the incident.

The whole saga reached a boiling point when the authorities raided the offices of FAS, TBFC, etc. to conduct investigation following a police report that was filed against TBFC for "suspected misuse of club funds" by Sport Singapore after those fiery exchanges of words between Ng and Lee.

With the D-Day drawing closer after each day passed, it's likely to see the much-anticipated contest for the holy grail to be clouded around by the above mentioned investigation of alleged financial irregularities and some would actually wonder if the main problems plagued the sport are overlooked during the campaigning?

Since there are hardly intense discussions on those printed on both factions' manifestos which I, particularly, take an interest on a suggestion to revive the popular Singapore Business Houses Football League (SBHFL) which I think is a good idea to put the corporate league back in league pyramid system.

However, before we can revive this mentioned corporate league, we should be asking how it can fit into the existing football league pyramid?

Would be a good idea to revamp the existing NFL setup with that bit of Business Houses League element infused in it by getting corporate entities' involvement in the management of some of NFL clubs?

Hopefully, this would be one of key areas to explore from 30th of April onwards after whoever takes control of the oldest football association in Asia.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


(This entry is formulated by the media release issued by Roco Communications, the PR agency for the mentioned event)

Lionel Messi (image provided together with press release)
As part of the celebration to mark the 125th anniversary of Football Association of Singapore (FAS), Singapore National Team will take on Argentina in a friendly match on the 13th of June at the National Stadium.

Organised by FAS and international sport and entertainment promoter UNICESS, the match is part of four-nation tour that will see Argentina play Brazil in Melbourne, Australia on Friday 9th June 2017, with the Socceroos then taking on Brazil in Melbourne on 13 June 2017, the same night as the Singapore fixture.

Said Aiden Kwangik Moon, CEO & Founder of match promoter UNICESS:"We are delighted to co-promote this match between Singapore and Argentina to commemorate the 125th anniversary of FAS."

"The game will not only appeal to fans in Singapore but will attract football fans from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other nearby countries and will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this generation of Argentinian players compete in Singapore.

"We look forward to welcoming football fans and families alike as they witness these world-class players in action and create some unforgettable memories." added Moon.

"I am looking forward to leading my country out against such the two-time FIFA World Cup champions (like Argentina)," said Lions' coach V Sundram moorthy in the press statement that announced the match. "We hope that Singaporeans will come out in force to cheer us on. A packed stadium on 13 June will make a huge difference and give our players the boost they need against a team with so many talented world-class players.”

"FAS has worked very hard to finalise the match, which will benefit our players and coaches in terms of invaluable exposure as well as enhance the level of sporting entertainment for fans in Singapore." added the former Singapore striker.

Singapore National Coach V Sundram moorthy (file snap)
Prior to this afternoon announcement, there were worries that Singapore will not be able to see Lionel Messi live in action since the Barcelona superstar is still serving four-match suspension for verbally abused a match official in the La Albiceleste’s 1-0 win over Chile back in March.

However, with reports suggested the 29-year-old could have his suspension reduced and coupled with the Argentineans' commitment to field their full squad for this match, those anxieties were put to a rest and fans can look forward to see Manchester City's Sergio Agüero, Gonzalo Higuaín of Juventus and Ángel Di María from Paris Saint-Germain showcasing their skills at Kallang alongside the multi-time FIFA Ballon d'Or recipient.

The likelihood to see some of the best players to play in Singapore thrilled football fan Yusof Ibrahim.

"Never imagine that one day you can see the likes of Messi, Aguero and Di Maria in the Singapore National Stadium," said Yusof when told of the upcoming match. "Argentina is one of the best footballing nations ever to come to Singapore and for fan like me is like a one in a lifetime experience."

Echoed the same sentiment is Liverpool fan Viknesh K Palan who is elated to see the descending of the Argentinians on the Republic's shores.

Quipped the 38-year-old engineer:"Wow! Argentina's best at our National Stadium! Hope it doesn't get too "MESSI" for our Lions!"

Tickets to the Singapore-Argentina match will be available for purchase through on Thursday 20 April from 9am, and through all other channels from 10am. Tickets are priced from S$40 to S$188 each, with children’s and senior citizen’s tickets available at $25 each (Please refer to full ticketing information below).

Ticketing Information via the press release

Friday, April 14, 2017

"Vote For The New Beginning. Vote For The Future Of Singapore Football"

The "FAS Game Changers"
It is the determination to stop the rot in Singapore football that saw the assembling of the "FAS Game Changers" - a slate headed by Hougang United chairman Bill Ng for the upcoming landmark election that will see 44 eligible delegates to vote in a new 15-member Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Council at the end of the month.

"We are not quick fixer!" said Ng in his opening address at the unveiling of his slate and manifesto at The Clifford Pier before he went further to outline what he and his team plan to do if being voted into office on the 29th of April.

One of the first things to be looked into is the administrative issues which the businessman did not mince his words when he blasted the current FAS administrators for having "a huge coordinating problem in the secretarial office" that he felt "they don't know what they're doing".

Hougang United Chairman Bill Ng
However, he added he is willing to work with present setup to resolve those nagging issues by reviewing the current practices with streamlining process along the way.

The absence of the "brand equity" in the S.League is another area which Ng, a mergers and acquisition specialist by trade, hopes to look into to unlock the untapped marketing potential, so as to see the clubs achieve financial sustainability of their own and moved away from the "Godfather" model where clubs depend on their benefactors for their lifeline.

In order to attain that, one of the ways is to commercialize the league operations, as suggested by Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra, one of the four vice-presidential candidates of "FAS Game Changers", such as explore all forms of revenue generating tools and shall not rely on a singular source of income.

Meanwhile, National Football League (NFL) side Kaki Bukit SC president
Zaki Ma'arof, another vice-presidential candidate of the slate, lamented the poor infrastructural problems his club and the rest of the lower-tier have to face.

"Without a proper field, there were times we can't do training like taking corners, etc." highlighted one of those woes by the former deputy president of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce who also proposed a regular "round-table" meeting among the NFL clubs that hopes to serve as a platform to strengthen the communication between them and FAS.

Kaki Bukit SC's Zaki Ma'arof
Another notable proposal brought up during the unveiling is the reviving of the Singapore Business Houses League (SBHL), a popular competition in the last century saw corporate entities with the likes of Singapore Airlines, Fraser and Neave featured in the tournament.

The slate hopes a healthy ecosystem involving the NFL, SBHL together with the S.League will form a strong backbone for Singapore football.

Other speakers of the evening included two women candidates who are also named as the slate's vice-presidential candidates - Annabel Pennefather and Teoh Chim Sim who touched issues pertaining women's football and the importance of proper medical care for footballers respectively.

Both Pennefather and Teoh have impressive credentials for having served key positions in their specialized fields which will prove to be an asset to "FAS Game Changers" in their battle against another slate - "Team LKT", headed by former FAS deputy-president Lim Kia Tong.

Before the session adjourned for the media Q&A at the end of the unveiling of manifesto, the slate's deputy-presidential candidate Lau Kok Keng sums up wih this battle cry - "Vote For The New Beginning. Vote For The Future Of Singapore Football".

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Better QC Is Needed To Ensure Innovative Ideas Flow ...

Despite the proliferation of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, writing to the papers' forum pages to express their views in printed is still a preferred choice of many.

Given its fair share of problems in recent years that dominated the headlines for the wrong reasons, opinions shared by members of public on Singapore football has always been a hot topic on these columns.

Opiners' favourite topic - Low crowds at S.League matches
However, if those opiners have nothing more than repeating the same worn-out suggestions to improve local football, they should try harder to conceive more innovative suggestions.

Talk about revamp of all aspects of Singapore football by anyone around us is nothing new at all, since it's always surfaced whenever something catastrophic happened (i.e.: poor performance in major tournaments).

Beside singled out the shortcomings of the S.League whose inability to support the national team, letters suggested to work with Ministry of Education (MOE), schools, etc. on youth development and sorting out matters with Mindef, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on National Service (NS) issues that affected some local footballers from turning out for the country in international matches are some of those favourite themes shown on newspapers' forum pages or online avenues.

At the same time, we got to ask how Singapore Slingers managed to get Delvin Goh, who is still serving his NS, to play in their Asean Basketball League (ABL) playoff game versus Alab Pilipinas, when footballer Hariss Harun couldn't do the same for Lions in their World Cup Qualifiers years ago?

Hariss Harun (14) with his "NS" appearance years ago
The so-called "looking into it" have been talking about getting full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) representing Lions or Cubs in football tournaments like AFF Suzuki Cup and SEA Games, but there is hardly any progress for us to see except stagnancy on this matter.

On the other hand, the forum editors of various newspapers should vet through letters from the public to avoid publication of repetitive content on suggestions to improve the local game.

With due respect to those who wrote to the papers, nothing new was suggested to improve but mere repeat of worn-out ideas for the sake of argument.

If those are what we are able to suggest at this stage, then we have nobody but ourselves to blame for the predicament.

Friday, March 31, 2017

"Matchpix" - March 2017

(P.S: If you access this site via "", please click the "Facebook" icon after you click "HERE" when you want to view the album as that will redirect you to the album, thank you)

  • S.League: Tampines Rovers 2-1 Hougang United 040317
Hougang Utd's Zulfahmi Arifin (L) tussled with Ivan Dzoni
Tampines Rovers Football Club defied the odds to beat Hougang United Football Club to prove the strength of the depth in their squad despite the absence of several key players due to suspension, etc.


  • S.League: Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang Int'l 100217
Geylang's Shawal Anuar (middle) rose above all for this ball
I was told a local publication got the fact wrong for this fixture when they stated Warriors Football Club was denied their first win of the season when they actually won their opener at Toa Payoh days ago. Nonetheless, they shared the spoils with Geylang International FC at Choa Chu Kang Stadium which was my first visit to this ground after a two-year absence, I think.


  • ABL - Slingers vs Eastern - 050217
Some up close action below the basket
This being the very first attempt to snap basketball and it is something really different from snapping football. The ASEAN Basketball League top-of-the-ladder clash between Singapore Slingers and Eastern Long Lions Basketball Team at the OCBC Arena saw the hosts throw away a commanding lead of 20 points to lost 73-71 to the visitors who took over the top spot in the standings.


  • ABL - Slingers vs Truth 120317
Slingers' Xavier Alexander (with ball) is cornered by the Truth defence
Still trying to adapt the pace of a basketball game without the use of a monopod and a chair, but appreciate the mobility to able to move around the court side during this ASEAN Basketball League match between Singapore Slingers and Kaohsiung Truth. The hosts beat their guests 76-52 at the OCBC Arena of the Singapore Sports Hub.



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