Sports

Sport Singapore apologises for mix-up in Journalist of the Year award

Sport Singapore has apologised for an administrative mistake that led to a wrong announcement for the Sports Journalist of the Year at the Singapore Sports Awards at Orchard Hotel on Tuesday.

SportSG yesterday announced The Straits Times correspondent Sazali Abdul Aziz as the winner of the Sports Journalist of the Year award, which comes with a trophy and cash prize of $2,000.

It was earlier given to The New Paper's sub-editor Dilenjit Singh.

In a statement, SportSG explained that representatives from the judging panel had raised an alert of a possible mistake on Wednesday.

After investigating, SportSG confirmed that the winning articles were matched to the wrong journalist.

This was an administrative error by a SportSG staff member. The award ceremony's auditor, KPMG in Singapore, was not involved in this part of the process.

SportSG deputy director for public relations S. Parameswaran said: "We sincerely apologise to Dilenjit and Sazali for the error. We congratulate Sazali on the well-deserved win."

TNP ALUMNUS SAZALI

Sazali, 31, has been with ST since 2017. Before that, he was with TNP from 2010.

Last year, he broke the news that the storied Farrer Park playing fields - the unofficial home of Singapore sport for decades from the 1960s - was slated for housing redevelopment.

The story and video package evoked strong emotions from sports stakeholders.

Sazali, who also wrote various features on local athletes and sports throughout 2018, said: "It is always gratifying to receive recognition for your work and I am grateful for the award.

"Having said that, Dilen is a close friend and it is difficult to find joy in a situation like this."

TNP editor Eugene Wee said: "It would have been nice if the error was spotted and corrected at the event itself rather than two days after, but we understand that mistakes happen and we congratulate TNP alumnus Sazali for his win." - DAVID LEE

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