FAS told to compile report on management of donations
After Game Changers chief Ng's revelation of monies donated to national football body, SportSG asks for details
There are still 12 days to go before the election votes are cast on April 29, but the new Football Association of Singapore (FAS) leadership has already been handed its first assignment.
The national sports governing body, Sport Singapore (SportSG), has called for the new FAS Council to submit a detailed report over donations made to or through the body under the previous leadership.
A media statement released yesterday read: "Much has been reported about the management of large donations to or through the FAS, and the source and management of these funds.
"As the sports sector charity administrator, SportSG will require the new council to provide a complete and satisfactory report on the management of these matters."
Bill Ng, chairman of S.League side Hougang United and National Football League outfit Tiong Bahru FC, had revealed last Thursday that he donated $850,000 to the FAS starting in 2010.
It was later revealed that $500,000 was channelled to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) for its Football Management System project through the FAS between 2014 and 2015.
Ng, who leads the Game Changers, a team contesting at the FAS election, was speaking at a press conference where his team unveiled their manifesto for Singapore football.
Both of Ng's clubs run profitable jackpot operations.
Ng had claimed that FAS is better placed to answer questions of where the $500,000 had been invested. His statement was swiftly disputed by FAS general secretary Winston Lee, who asserted that Ng had full knowledge of the situation surrounding the donation.
In a later statement to The Sunday Times, an FAS spokesman said that it was former FAS president Zainudin Nordin who had requested for the funds from Ng.
Little is known about the AFF system in the middle of this muddle, but sources told The New Paper that it is an online portal aimed at aiding South-east Asian football associations and clubs in their administration.
The system is expected to cost up to $2 million, with a source confirming that other regional football associations have also contributed to the AFF project.
In a statement to TNP on Friday, the AFF said that the system will cover issues such as "income generation, information technology, corporate governance, and facilities utilisation", and that the project is in its "last phase of preparation", with the launch expected "within the next nine to 12 months".
It will also include matters such as "corporate governance, human asset management, and coach education", said an FAS spokesman in a statement.
"As the sports sector charity administrator, SportSG will require the new council to provide a complete and satisfactory report on the management of these matters."SportSG in a media statement
Ng is also a protagonist in another issue that SportSG is keeping close tabs on.
In the same statement released by its spokesman, SportSG revealed that an audit is being conducted at Woodlands Wellington, a club once linked to Ng.
Following feedback from the public on the proposed merger of Woodlands and Hougang, and complaints over the management of jackpot revenue at Woodlands, SportSG had, in March 2016, asked the FAS to conduct an investigation to clarify the facts of the matter, address any irregularities, and provide a report.
Said the SportSG spokesman: "The FAS Provisional Council, which had reached the end of its term, had recently informed SportSG that the external auditors engaged by the FAS to audit the S.League sit-out clubs (Woodlands, Gombak United and Tanjong Pagar United) required more time to complete the audit, specifically with respect to certain transactions,"
Woodlands and Gombak both housed jackpot operations at SportSG facilities, but were evicted from their premises at the end of last May.
Ng revealed at the Thursday press conference that a Woodlands-Hougang merger was "mooted and initiated entirely by the FAS" and because of a breakdown due to constitutional issues, he had "returned Woodlands back to the FAS".
Said Ng: "So, to clarify, I have nothing to do with the affairs of Woodlands right now."
But SportSG could still take action.
Its spokesman said: "SportSG will await the completion of the audit and the submission of the report, which is taking longer than expected, before deciding on follow-up actions."