FAS to elect president within 12 months; Bernard Tan confirmed as acting leader
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) will elect a new president before October 2023, the governing body announced during its annual congress at the Raffles Town Club on Friday night.
It was the first to be held physically since 2019, and took place nine days after its president Lim Kia Tong died suddenly on Sept 14 after suffering a heart attack. His seat at the panel was left vacant on Friday as a mark of respect.
Highlighting that its constitution stated that the election process - including a call for election, as well as candidature nominations and examinations - required about a month, FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari noted that the insufficient window meant an election could not be held this year.
As a result, he added, FAS deputy president Bernard Tan would take on the role of acting president.
A fresh election will be conducted no later than Sept 30, 2023, either at the next FAS congress or at an Extraordinary Congress.
Yazeen added that the matter has been discussed with global body Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation.
Tributes to Lim were delivered in the first 30 minutes of the congress, with a minute's silence observed and with many guests donning a lapel pin with his initials.
Sobs were audible as a video featuring FAS staff was played, and administrators of local clubs also delivered speeches remembering the ex-lawyer, who died aged 70 having spent 30 years serving Singapore football.
His final year as FAS chief saw several highlights. Among them was the return of amateur competitions, progress made in the women's game with the rebranded Deloitte Women's Premier League, as well as the recruitment of technical director Michael Browne.
Other initiatives include the national Unleash The Roar! plan to reach the 2034 World Cup, the School Football Academy programme, the imminent opening of the Kallang Football Hub at the end of 2022, and "substantial steps" in introducing video assistant referee technology in local football.
The FAS on Friday also announced plans to allocate a portion of their budget for age-group international tournaments like the Lion City Cup and Merlion Cup - last held in 2015 and 2019 respectively - scheduled to return in 2023.