Former S-League player set to be stripped of his Singapore citizenship
He was at a loss for words as he tried to come to terms with the bombshell.
Hours after he received the news, Gaye Alassane, 43, was still struggling to come to terms with the fact that he would be stripped of his Singapore citizenship by the Ministry of Home Affairs for being part of a global match-fixing syndicate.
He was served with a Notice of Proposed Deprivation of Citizenship under Article 133(1) of the Constitution yesterday morning.
"I was shocked when I heard the news this morning, and of course, I felt terrible about it. I am lost, I do not know where my life is, I really do not know what to do now," Alassane told The Straits Times yesterday.
The Mali-born Singaporean was detained without trial in 2013 under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act for his part in an international match-fixing syndicate that was created in and took root in Singapore.
"I spent two years and three months in prison, and after I got out, I had to go and report to them (the police) once every month," said the former S-League footballer.
Alassane was released in January last year, but was placed under Police Supervision Orders (PSO) for three years.
People placed under PSO are subject to conditions such as electronic tagging, regular reporting to the police, curfew hours and travel restrictions.
Alassane arrived in Singapore in 1993 from Malian club Batavia as a 19-year-old to play for Tiong Bahru FC in the now-defunct Singapore Premier League.
The defender later played for lower-tiered clubs before a solitary season in the professional S-League with Gombak United in 2000.
He obtained his citizenship under the Family Ties Scheme in 2003 through marriage with a Singaporean woman but was divorced some 10 years ago.
His former wife, who shares custody of their 17-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, told ST that he is a good father who "is very involved in the lives of his children".
Alassane admitted he had done "those things" but insisted he wanted to turn over a new leaf. "I sat in prison, and all I could think about was my two children and what I have put them through; what I am going through now and how I got here," he said.
"I decided that I wanted to be a good man."
His close friend and former Singapore international Bah Mamadou said Alassane was a changed man after he was released from prison.
"He was in a bad way when he went into prison, but he is changed now... He has started spending a lot of time at mosques. So it is work, mosque and his kids - that is his life now," he said.
Mamadou revealed that Alassane is a part-time Uber driver these days."He has been punished for his mistake and he has changed - he deserves a second chance," said Mamadou.