Media reports had surfaced earlier last week that Mr Gouttefangeas was declared a bankrupt in France and would therefore be disqualified from being a key officer of FAS, which is registered as a charity. Section 27(1)(b) of the Charity Act states that a person shall be disqualified from being a key officer of a charity if “he has been adjudged bankrupt and has not been discharged”.
FAS President Zainudin Nordin said: “Prior to the appointment, FAS did our due diligence and ran checks which found nothing amiss. Nevertheless, we took a serious view of the allegations directed towards Mr Johan Gouttefangeas and we immediately embarked on a thorough investigation. We have since completed the investigation and we can affirm that Mr Johan Gouttefangeas is not a bankrupt.”
The court document in relation to the matter was received from Mr Gouttefangeas’ lawyer. The translated copies of the document of the Commercial Court of Lyon revealed that the court proceedings were in connection with or incidental to the "legal liquidation" of LNG Company of which Mr Johan Gouttefangeas was the Managing Director. In the said court document, the Representative of the Ministry of Public Affairs had argued for a "prohibition to manage for a period of 7 to 10 years". In his report to the Court, the Official Receiver also expressed himself in favour of a sanction towards Mr Johan Gouttefangeas.
Having heard the Representative of the Ministry of Public Affairs and Mr Johan Gouttefangeas’ lawyer, the Court adjudicated "against Mr Johan Gouttefangeas the prohibition to manage any sole proprietorship, artisanal or commercial and to manage any corporation for a period of five years". It is therefore clear that Mr Johan Gouttefangeas was never "adjudged bankrupt" by the court in France.
“We are now deliberating the next course of action, and will inform our stakeholders of our decision in due course,” said Mr Zainudin.
CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
27 JAN 2012