Sasikumar set to join Lim’s team for FAS election
Ex-national defender Sasikumar set to join Lim's team for FAS election; Venga backs bid
Even before the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) makes it first-ever election call, expected at the end of the week, battle lines have been redrawn.
Some in the football fraternity have called for a coalition team - combining the institutional knowledge of incumbents with new perspectives and energy brought to the table by those outside of the FAS - and it appears their wish will be granted.
Two dissenting voices are poised to stand in the corner of the FAS provisional council - R Sasikumar and R Vengadasalam.
Sasi, who was believed to be putting together a team of his own to run for the FAS presidency, is now poised to back FAS provisional council president Lim Kia Tong's bid for the top post.
Sources have told The New Paper that Sasi, a former national defender and now businessman, is likely to run alongside Bernard Tan and Edwin Tong, vice-presidents of the FAS provisional council.
DIVERSITY OF VIEWS
"I've said before that I don't want a team in which everyone has the same views," Tan told The New Paper last night.
"That's because differing opinions is not a deciding factor when it comes to working together for football - the most important thing is that we all have our hearts in the right place.
"And I do believe that everyone in the team we are putting together has that.
"There is enough space in the sport, and in the team, for differing views to come together to help the entire fraternity to come together.
I expect criticism from people, but... The two teams I backed in the past were just not good enough.R Vengadasalam who had supported two other teams hoping to contest in this FAS election
"This is how we will take Singapore football to the next level."
Venga, an ex-manager of former S.League club Woodlands Wellington, has been the loudest dissenting voice in the fraternity, calling for wholesale changes in the FAS leadership.
But he told TNP that he has been won over by Lim's sincerity and willingness to make changes that matter.
Venga, who will not be contesting the election in any capacity, said: "In my life, I've been given second chances by many people, and I'm now giving a second chance to this new team formed by the FAS.
"In my several conversations with him, Kia Tong has shown that he is very forthcoming, and willing to listen to why we want to implement certain changes, and also willing to actually make some of those changes.
CHANGE OF ATTITUDE
"I told him, that if he made changes, I will change my attitude towards his team."
With Sasi in Lim's camp, there could be only two sides contesting the election - Lim's team and a group put together by Bill Ng, chairman of S.League club Hougang United.
Lim's team are the third side that Venga has supported - after Team Majulah, a group he helped bring together, as well as Sasi's camp - and he knows that questions will be raised because he has jumped ship twice.
"I expect criticism from people, but they are not in my shoes to understand how much I've gone through these last 10 months," said Venga, who has on several occasions professed to have the support of amateur clubs in the National Football League (NFL) and Island Wide League (IWL).
"Team Majulah fell apart because there were huge problems finding the right person to lead the team as president," he said.
"In the end, it's about getting the right people into football, not about any one particular team.
"The two teams I backed in the past were just not good enough."
"Kia Tong's team is not an FAS incumbent team, it is an alternate team," added Venga.
"I believe Kia Tong will be able to help football move in the right direction.
"If he wins, there will be many changes implemented in the next year."