Bernard Tan only FAS president candidate after nominations close, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Bernard Tan only FAS president candidate after nominations close

Acting president Bernard Tan is set to assume the top post of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) after he was the only one to submit his candidacy for the election when nominations closed at 6pm on Thursday.

According to the FAS Constitution, its three-man electoral committee will “proceed to conduct the eligibility and integrity checks” on the candidate.

The FAS requires presidential candidates to have “played an active role in association football… for two of the last five years”.

These include being board or committee members or having an official role within world governing body Fifa, an association or as an ordinary member of the FAS.

Following these checks, a further announcement on the confirmation of the FAS presidential candidate for the remaining period of the 2021-2025 term of the FAS Council will be made at least 10 days before its annual congress at Sheraton Towers on Sept 23.

Tan was the FAS deputy president when then-president Lim Kia Tong died following a heart attack in September 2022. Lim was the FAS’ first elected president in 2017 before he was returned unopposed four years later.

Tan then took over as acting president, in line with the FAS Constitution, as there was insufficient time for an election to be held at its 2022 congress, which took place nine days after Lim died.

The country president (Singapore) of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, Tan, 57, will complete 10 years of service in the FAS in October, but he has endured tough challenges during his tenure as acting president.

During the period, the Lions lost 4-1 to Malaysia in the Asean Football Federation Championship in January, before the national Under-22 side were thrashed 7-0 by their Causeway rivals at the Cambodia SEA Games in May.

Both teams failed to qualify for the semi-finals of their respective regional competitions over the past decade.

In the aftermath of the SEA Games, Tan also had to apologise for a terse reply to a comment on his Instagram account in May which called for his resignation.

Subsequently, the FAS conducted a review and came up with 10 recommendations in July on ways to improve the squad for future appearances at the biennial competition. Post-review, Tan told The Straits Times he is “not married to” the FAS presidency.

He added then: “I am not silly. The FAS president can run only if he has the confidence of the stakeholders. These include people from the public and private sector that will fund us, the FAS family that supports what goes on in football, and wider society.

“If I feel that I’ve lost that support, I will step down. But as I am in this position, and if I am given an opportunity to carry on, I will focus to drive Singapore football forward with the fraternity.

“But if there is someone capable who steps forward, who can do much more, I will be happy to work with him, and for him to take over the baton. It is perfectly fine. I want the best for Singapore football, not for myself.”

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