Affiliates want their 'voices' to be heard more
They have given Team LKT their mandate, and now, the local football fraternity wait to see the changes they have called for.
At the Black Box Auditorium at the Singapore Sports Hub on Saturday, former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) vice-president Lim Kia Tong and his slate were voted in as the FAS' new leaders until 2021.
Team LKT garnered 30 votes while their opponents, the Game Changers led by Hougang United chairman Bill Ng, garnered 13. One vote was invalid.
Many of the FAS affiliates whom The New Paper spoke to said that Team LKT's commitment to improving the amateur National Football League (NFL) was a big factor in earning their support.
Starting this year, NFL teams get seed money of $8,500 per club, group insurance from Great Eastern Singapore for their players, among other improvements.
Gurbachan Singh, operations manager of NFL Division 2 side Singapore Khalsa Association, was one of Team LKT's backers.
He said: "I was very confident that Team LKT would win, and I've been supporting them from day one.
"For a start, they've given the NFL (clubs) seed money of $8,500 and they're also covering free insurance for all the players which I think is a very good sign.
"The previous FAS council were more interested in only the S.League and NFL Division 1... so we are pleased."
Zairi Ahmari, club secretary of NFL Division 1 side GFA Sporting Westlake, echoed Gurbachan's points about the once-neglected amateur league, and said that the clubs "want their voices to be heard".
Mohd Rafique, chairman of NFL Division 1 side Siglap CSC, said that he is looking forward to see changes to the FAS' policies being gradually implemented, and encouraged Lim and his new council to have regular dialogue sessions with stakeholders.
"I think the changes can't happen overnight, but I feel it has to be taken on a discussion basis, and with the football fraternity," he said.
"The new council must engage every one and form committees and taskforces into various sectors.
"For example coaching and player development, or how to make competitions better, or how to attract crowds back to stadiums.
"I think this council comprises many able bodies and... I hope we can see some movement from the three-month mark.
"We have to give them some time to settle down, plan and then execute their plans."
Cheng Tim Nee, general manager of S.League club Balestier Khalsa, also preached patience.
"It will take time to see the changes," he said.
"I don't think we can see anything immediately.
"The S.League season has already kicked off, so the earliest we can see a change (affecting the S.League) is next year.
"Having said that, the new council should start to do the groundwork as soon as possible, engage the stakeholders more closely, and find out what's happening."