A few bottom teams in the English Premier League are battling against relegation this weekend.
Swansea, Burnley and Hull City. Relegation battles are usually exciting to watch, as some of these struggling teams will give their all to ensure their survival in the world’s most lucrative football league.
I think the most interesting match to catch this Saturday will be that between Team LKT versus Team Game Changers. And it’s happening in Singapore’s shores. In case you are late into the game, the latest development is that the Game Changers’ captain Bill Ng and his wife, Winston Lee (current secretary general of FAS) and Zainudin Nordin (former president of FAS) were arrested by the police and are now out on bail. The four are assisting police with probe into suspected misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru FC. The Game Strugglers Changers are the underdogs.
For now, Bill Ng is still eligible for the first-ever FAS elections on Saturday. The election is not called off (yet) and none of the teams is backing out or substituting its members (yet). Understandably, Team LKT, which comprises some members of the former FAS team, has kept largely quiet.
If I am one of the 44 affiliated FAS members with voting powers for the elections, I would be damn pissed off. Given the slump that Singapore football has gotten into since our glory days in the Malaysia Cup, this election finally presents affiliates with a chance to choose their own leaders whom they believe can revitalise Singapore football. But now what? The ongoing police investigation is like the chaos created by a naked man who has invaded the football pitch. Suddenly, nobody focuses on the game / nobody knows what to focus anymore. Who will actually remember what these affiliates really need and the resources that can help them improve the game?
Photo: Mail Online
Technically, even though Bill is now on police bail, the affiliates can still vote for him because Singapore’s legal system believes in “innocent unless proven guilty”. But without properly explaining a detailed game plan and the possibility of being hauled up in court, how many will go for Bill? It seems like Bill Ng’s offside trap had failed and he scored an own goal as a result.
Of course, the affiliates can always choose Team LKT. But nobody knows how different they will manage FAS from the former team, given that many in the slate were/are from FAS. Will Singapore football end in a stalemate at the end of the day?
In other words, do the affiliates really have two choices? Or no choice?
Photo: Straits Times
FIFA, the only authority who can stop the election from proceeding, has not spoken. Regardless of the result, as always, the affiliates’ concerns are not those that will grab the newspapers headline. It wasn’t like this in the past and it doesn’t seem like it will change this weekend.