Amendment could delay FAS' election
Rejection by affiliates could delay FAS election of new leadership
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) could install its first elected leadership by Dec 1, 2016.
This is based on times specified in FAS' proposed constitution between incumbent FAS president Zainudin Nordin calling for election, and the actual voting day. (see box)
But these constitutional amendments have first to be voted in by the FAS' 46 voting members at its annual general meeting (AGM) on Sept 24 - and that may not happen.
The FAS announced yesterday that it has received approval from world football governing body Fifa for its proposed constitutional amendments to allow for democratic election of its leadership, but its target of holding an election by the end of 2016 could be stymied.
Alfred Dodwell, the only named member of R Vengadasalam's team to be put forward for election, has already started campaigning for support to make a further amendment - to add three more members to the 15 who will stand for election to the FAS Council.
This is aimed at having more robust discussions that will see only good ideas implemented.
Rejection would mean a return to the drawing board and a certain delay in calling for the FAS' first election.
Each of FAS' 46 affiliates has one vote, and a simple majority is required to pass - or reject - the FAS' proposed constitution.
FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong, who is leading the FAS' constitutional amendment efforts, believes the proposed change is unnecessary.
"It is clear that there are no major objections (to FAS' proposed constitutions), but the change that has been proposed will not have a major effect," he said.
Lim explained that three co-opted members will be added to the 15-member elected FAS council, to ensure "vibrant debates", and while those three will not have voting rights, there are other checks within the council.
In its decision-making process, the council members will vote, while the president abstains. And if there is a tie, the president will cast the final vote to determine the council's course of action.
"I think there is no necessity for this (proposed change)," said Lim who is the deputy chairman of Fifa's disciplinary committee.
Lim revealed that if Dodwell does manage to garner enough support to reject FAS' proposed amendments, it will certainly delay the election.
"We will have to redraft that article in the constitution, and get Fifa approval again. And I can't tell how much time that will take," he said.
The FAS started redrafting its constitution in January this year, taking some nine months to receive final approval for the document.
Fifa has approved transitional provisions in the FAS proposed constitutions that allow for the current FAS leadership helmed by Zainudin to "remain in their positions and effective", provided the election is held before the end of 2016. But this could change if there is a delay.
Brunei and Indonesia have faced Fifa bans in the past for third-party interference in their football affairs and a delay in conducting democratic elections, but Fifa had earlier told The New Paper in a statement that those cases "do not compare to the situation of the FAS."
"These (constitutional) changes have been made with the idea to be inclusive and to allow for vibrant discussions, for the good of football," said Lim.
"I don't foresee any major objections."
HOW THE ELECTIONS WILL WORK:
- President, deputy president, four vice-presidents and three council members will run on a slate
- The remaining six council members will run as individuals
- Three more council members will be co-opted in
Council make-up:President, deputy president, four vice-presidents
- Nine elected council members
- Three co-opted council members
A watershed moment for Singapore football
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is aiming to hold its first election by the end of the year.
FAS vice-president Bernard Tan hopes that this will mark a positive point for football, although he fears it could also go wrong.
The FAS announced yesterday that it has received approval from world football governing body Fifa for its proposed constitutional amendments to allow for democratic election of its leadership,
"These changes in the constitution were made to ensure unity (within the FAS Council in its decision-making efforts) while also ensuring vibrant discussions - it was made to be inclusive," he told The New Paper last night.
"This is a watershed moment, but it can be either positive or negative for Singapore football."
He explained the rationale for the amendments, drawing from examples of other National Sports Associations (NSAs) here that have suffered from splinters within their highest decision making bodies.
Fissures within those decision making bodies have seen some paralysed from acting in the best interests of the sport.
"It's positive if the community comes together for the good of the game, if the new council is filled with competent people who have integrity and are passionate about the game, and are able to manage an organisation of this size," he said, calling for the 46 voting members of the FAS to seriously mull over their decision before the vote.
There are seven active S.League clubs and two sit-out clubs, Gombak United and Tanjong Pagar United. The rest are amateur sides: 10 National Football League clubs, 14 Island Wide Clubs and 13 others, including teams in the Women's Premier League.
"This election will almost guarantee that there will be alternative voices and diverse views in the council, and accountability will definitely improve," said Tan.
"But it can be bad if we (the football fraternity) are completely divided after the elections."
Only one group - put together by R Vengadasalam, a former team manager of now-defunct S.League side Woodlands Wellington - has declared its interest in running at the FAS election.
Members of the current council have yet to declare their slate to run in the election, but Tan, and fellow vice-president Lim Kia Tong, are believed to be the men charged to take Singapore football into a new era.
"I hope each club takes its vote seriously," said Tan.
FAS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
What happens if constitutional amendments are passed (times and dates provided are estimates)
1. Submit new constitution to the Registry of Societies for approval: One week (3 Oct)
2. Call for elections: 4 Oct
3. Six days before nominations are closed: 10 Oct
4. Electoral Committee integrity checks - Approximately four to six weeks (Nov 19)
5. Notify affiliates of final list of candidates who will stand at election (Nov 21) at least 10 days before actual election
6. Voting (1 Dec)
What happens if constitutional amendments are not passed (No time estimate)
1. FAS to re-visit the draft of amendments
2. Re-draft of article sent to Fifa for approval
3. Changes to be made if any
4. Call for Extraordinary General Meeting for amended constitution to be voted in
5. Call for elections
*All 46 affiliates have a single vote each, and a simple majority is required for the new constitution to be passed