Four of five candidates who failed tests for FAS election to appeal
Four of five candidates who failed tests for FAS election will appeal by tomorrow
Four of their six individual candidates couldn't pass the first hurdle to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election, after failing eligibility and integrity tests of the FAS Electoral Committee (EC).
Bill Ng's Game Changers, however, do not view the situation as a setback.
Steven Tan, spokesman for the group, told The New Paper that three of the group's candidates will submit appeals by tomorrow, with the Game Changers remaining upbeat about their chances at the April 29 election.
Tan, a former general secretary of the FAS, is part of the team behind Ng's group of candidates who are standing for election.
Their opponents at the election, a team led by former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong, saw all members pass the tests.
"As a team, we don't take this as a setback. It is a procedural issue and, if something goes wrong, we will just make corrections and keep moving forward," said Tan, who was also involved in drafting plans for the S.League before it was launched in 1996.
"We'll get up and fight on - that's the spirit we have."
Lai Boon Teck, Jeffrey Sim, Suresh Nair are the three members of Ng's team who did not pass muster as the FAS' EC conducted its eligibility and integrity checks.
Their fourth candidate, Moklas Ma'arof, withdrew his candidature.
Independent candidate Kumar Appavoo is the only other individual - unaffiliated to either team standing for election - who did not pass.
Tan was adamant that the reasons behind the Game Changers' candidates failing were purely procedural.
"(Lai and Sim) were hit on a technicality. This is the first time that we are having an election, and it is a little stumble, but there was nothing to suggest any issue of integrity, and I am confident that we will be well heard by the (appeals) committee," said Tan, pointing to the fact that the pair were failed on a technicality - they were nominated by a committee member of a club affiliated to the FAS instead of being put forward by a secretary, vice-chairman or chairman.
"Where Suresh is concerned, the issue raised is with question six (of the Declaration of Integrity Form). The EC asked for clarification on this issue, so naturally they treat it as an ending of approval - not rejection," said Tan.
Question six asks if the individual has participated in football betting organised by Singapore Pools in association with the FAS or S.League, and received any form of dividends arising from such betting.
Suresh is a former journalist and has served as a referees' assessor for the FAS.
"Suresh has consulted the team, and he will be submitting a response to the Committee accordingly," added Tan.
The deadline for submission of appeals is tomorrow, with the FAS elections to be held on April 29 at the Singapore Sports Hub's Black Box.
Unlike the Game Changers' three candidates, Moklas, secretary of National Football League side Kembangan United, will not change his mind on his withdrawal.
"I withdrew because of personal reasons. It's my mistake. I don't blame those who helped me and, to me, it (my candidature) is over," he told TNP.
"Both sides have good teams, and I hope the best team win."
It is understood that Appavoo, a 48-year-old businessman who stood as a candidate for Radin Mas SMC at the 2015 General Election, failed the EC test because of a lack of involvement in football.
"(The EC) needs some more details as to my involvement in football - I'm registered as vice-chairman of (NFL side) Gymkhana FC," said Appavoo, who revealed that he is also a volunteer hockey coach at St Andrew's Junior School for the last four years.
"I will be putting up an appeal to them."