Patrick Ang urges complete focus on Singapore football
Ahead of first FAS election, veteran administrator wants new team to solely focus on 'own house'
He has spent more time on golf courses than at stadiums after he stepped down as chairman of Geylang International in 2012, but football still has a special place in the heart of Patrick Ang.
He believes the upcoming Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election is a great opportunity for the sport to drag itself out of the doldrums.
But Ang insists that it can only happen if the fraternity pulls together to form the best possible team focused on the sport, with personal agendas set aside.
"My plea is that all three or four parties join hands and put forward one group of their candidates with the best credentials," he said, of the four camps believed to be assembling teams for the election.
"Football needs support from the government, and that comes from having candidates with credibility, and a president with clout.
"Those who want to lead Singapore football must not be concerned about positions in the Asean Football Federation (AFF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or Fifa. Over the next four years they must look only at fixing things here."
While Ang was adamant that he will not run at the election, he is willing to contribute.
"I'm not interested in becoming president or a council member, but if good capable people come into power and are interested in my help, I am prepared to do so," said the former national team manager.
Ang pointed to men like former Tampines Rovers chairman Teo Hock Seng and veteran sports administrator Low Teo Ping as ideal candidates for the position of FAS president, and hoped that they can be supported by legal, financial and football experts.
As part of the constitutional changes made to allow for the first ever elections in the FAS, any presidential hopeful has to be active in association football in two of the last five years, a rule that 65-year-old Ang believes is "relevant and also irrelevant."
R Vengadasalam is the campaign manager of the only team that has announced its candidature, and their counter-proposal is for former S.League club chairmen to be able to run for the FAS presidency.
"What's the point of being involved for two years if the candidate isn't interested enough in football to actually come down to stadiums for games," mulled Ang, who also did not see the need for the new chief to be a former club chairman.
"It's all very subjective, but I'm sure we can all agree that what we want to see is passion and a track record."
The FAS will hold its Annual General Meeting tomorrow at its Jalan Besar headquarters, where it will look to pass constitutional amendments that will allow for a democratic election of its leaders by the end of this year.
"For those who want to do something for Singapore football, they must know that if there isn't credibility, there's no chance. The team will need experience, credibility, and must want to do a job for Singapore football," said Ang.
"I really hope the groups can pull together so the best candidates can help Singapore football."
My plea is this that all three or four parties join hands and put forward one group of their candidates with the best credentials. Those who want to lead Singapore football must not be concerned about positions in Asean Football Federation (AFF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or Fifa. Over the next four years they must look only at fixing things here.
- Patrick Ang former chairman of Geylang International