FIFA is “aware of” government meddling in Football Association of Singapore
Maybe we celebrated too early when the Lions XII won the Malaysia FA Cup courtesy of Sahil Suhaimi strike.
Because ever since that Malaysia FA Cup victory, things went downhill for Singapore football.
First, we crashed out of the SEA Games tournament at the group stage on our own home ground,
then, Aide Iskandar, the ex-coach for the U23-National Team tearfully quit,
who later engaged Bernd Stange, the coach for the National Football Team, in a public verbal dispute,
and now, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is under investigation by the global football governing body Federation International de Football Association (FIFA).
All this is happening while the FAS chief, Zainuddin Noordin is currently on holiday at New York City.
convenient unlucky timing for the football chief be away. Let’s note that he hasn’t even released a Facebook post regarding the FIFA probe on FAS.
What is the investigation about?
According to a Yahoo Sport exclusive, an article of our dear FAS’ constitution may be guilty for violating an article of the FIFA’s constitution.
Article 17.1 of FIFA
Each Member [National Football Association] shall manage its affairs independently and with no influence from third parties
Article 19.3 of FAS
All Council Members shall be appointed by the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports in his discretion and shall, unless otherwise decided by the Minister, hold office for a period of two years
The contradiction between the articles
Article 17.1 of FIFA states that office holders for each of the national football association should either be elected or appointed within the association — meaning that the election or appointment process must be free from any third party influence.
Whereas the Article 19.3 of the FAS implies that the office holder for the Singapore football association shall be appointed by the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (equivalent of Minister for Culture, Community and Youth today) — where the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth is considered as a third party who is not within the association.
The contradiction as such, is a rather straight forward one. FAS is not suppose to have any third party influence as according to the FIFA’s rules and regulations, yet the FAS has formal third party influence from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
That is not all, as the FAS actually tried to tweak the constitution to FIFA’s standard by introducing Article 19.4.
Article 19.4 of FAS
The appointments of the FAS Council members shall be confirmed by an absolute majority of Members present at the AGM, that is more than 50% of those present and are eligible to vote at the AGM
Article 19.4 states that if the majority of the members of the FAS AGM does not agree with the Minister’s appointment, the Minister will have to reconsider his appointment. There is no evidence that this scenario played out before.
Despite the presence of Article 19.4 in the FAS’s constitution, FIFA insist that any office holder in the FAS that is not elected or appointed according to FIFA’s Article 17.1 requirement will not be recognised by FIFA.
FIFA is currently critically observing the situation and will ensure that FAS respects Article 17.1 of the FIFA Statutes.
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