Affiliates decide to move forward
Last night, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) received the mandate from its affiliates to pass the proposed constitution that will allow for a democratic election of new leadership, and the wheels are now in motion.
There were 40 points of contention in the FAS' proposed constitution raised by R Vengadasalam and Alfred Dodwell of Island Wide League (IWL) side Gymkhana FC.
While they came to an agreement with the FAS on several points, there were some points which they still felt were not addressed, but in the end, they felt passing the constitution was a necessary first step for Singapore football to move forward.
S.League club Hougang United were the only other club to raise issues, putting forward two points.
"We did not agree to everything, but because we wanted, in good faith, to move forward, we let it go. The constitution is a work in progress and down the line future councils can raise these issues again," said former Woodlands Wellington manager, Venga.
Dodwell, a lawyer, drew up Gymkhana's 40-point counter-proposal together with Venga.
"It was nice to be in a room filled with people who wanted to do what is best for football. We proposed and they (FAS) were prepared to accept some," he said.
"We concede some in the interest of ensuring we have a conflict-free night for football. We can be proud of the 100 per cent unanimous vote for the main document that governs Singapore football - this is the start of a new chapter."
The grapevine was awash with talk that there were fissures within the team, but it was rubbished by the group's only named candidate for the FAS election, Dodwell.
"In all teams there will always be disagreements. We are now forming up with a very strong line-up of candidates and we're maybe three more away from putting forward a young, vibrant dynamic team," he said, declining to reveal names or when the announcement will happen.
Former journalist Suresh Nair has been working behind the scenes garnering support for a team, and yesterday he gave the first indication that there could well be a multi-cornered contest - including that to be put forward by the current FAS leadership.
"I will name my team when FAS gives the date for the FAS Congress," he said, pointing to the date that the affiliates come together to vote on the new leadership.
But Suresh remained open to sitting down with other groups to field the best possible candidates, though he insisted in keeping his cards close to his chest.
"Why should anyone beat their chest before things are certain?"
- SHAMIR OSMAN