Game Changers: We are very confident
VP candidate Ramachandra talks up Game Changers' election chances after meeting with affiliates
Close to 40 members from more than 20 Football Association of Singapore (FAS) affiliates attended the Team Changers' three-hour closed-door meeting at Padi's Restaurant at Bussorah Street last night.FAS presidential candidate Bill Ng was present at the event, as he made an appearance in front of the media for the first time since he was hauled up for police investigations.
The build-up to the first FAS election tomorrow has been shrouded in controversy ever since Ng revealed a fortnight ago that National Football League (NFL) Division 1 side Tiong Bahru FC, a club he owns, had made a $500,000 donation through the FAS to the Asean Football Federation.
Sources told The New Paper that Game Changers' vice-presidential candidate Dr Teoh Chin Sim kicked things off by talking about women's football and medical aspects of the game, before deputy presidential candidate Lau Kok Keng fleshed out more of their manifesto.
Ng then took over as he began an "honest and emotional sharing from a personal, professional and family point of view" about recent events, including the $500,000 donation.
And these have left at least one affiliate impressed, before tomorrow's FAS election.
Without revealing who his club would vote for, NFL Division 1 club Katong FC's secretary Andy Tan said: "I see hope after Bill made his clarifications and the team shared their plans and vision for Singapore football that we have not heard of before. This is the first election Singapore football has had and it should be about football, not politics."
Albirex Niigata's general manager Koh Mui Tee added: "I attended both Team LKT's meeting on Wednesday and Game Changers' today.
"Bill's team spoke about bringing back the Business Houses League, which used to be run in the 60s through to the 80s before it was stopped.
Our vision for Singapore football will show the depth of capabilities of our team and our commitment.Game Changers’ candidate for vice-president Krishna Ramachandra
"It's a new team planning to bring a good idea back, which is great because we need more corporate support."
Game Changers' candidate for vice-president Krishna Ramachandra felt encouraged enough by the affiliates' response to state that he is "very confident" about his team's chances tomorrow.
The Tampines Rovers chairman said: "I don't want to sound conceited but, based on the feedback we have got, we are very confident, also because we are driven by our commitment to a cause that hasn't wavered since day one.
"We want to make very clear to all the affiliates that we remain committed to the transformation that we feel Singapore football needs.
"We are surprised by the overwhelming support from members who turned up.
"We don't believe in focusing on the weaknesses on the other side or a blame game. The affiliates are intelligent, well-informed and appear to be able to see through the cloud of dust kicked up in the last few days and it's reassuring they want to focus on football.
"We will reveal in greater detail our manifesto, and it deals with a very effective and sustainable system for professional and grassroots football.
"Our vision for Singapore Football will show the depth of capabilities of our team and our commitment."
Meanwhile, at a doorstop interview at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2017 launch yesterday, Sport Singapore CEO Lim Teck Yin weighed in on the election.
He said: "Everyone has a view on this and it is their right to hold their own views.
"I think the new council should listen very carefully to different voices and to see how they can come up with strategies and plans to serve the wider community of football fans, football teams, as well as to put in place a sustained programme to build a strong pipeline for the national team."