FAS to call for election today
Provisional council president Lim backed by 'Godfather' Teo, who says he's not a 'yes man'
It started in July 2015, when world football governing body Fifa requested an official review of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) constitution that had provisions for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) to appoint Singapore football's leaders.
That official correspondence from Fifa's Zurich headquarters knocked down the first domino that will - from today - accelerate to April 29, the date of the first FAS election in history.
FAS provisional council president Lim Kia Tong will call for the election today, with FAS staff reporting for work this morning ready to deliver documents - including the FAS electoral code and documents for nomination of candidates - to FAS' affiliates.
And he will do this with former Tampines Rovers chairman Teo Hock Seng fighting in his corner at the polls where he will contest for the FAS presidency.
"There are a few challenges ahead of us after we call for the election tomorrow," Lim told The New Paper yesterday on the sidelines of a Sultan of Selangor's Cup press conference at the Concorde Hotel.
"But we have Hock Seng who will be a very influential factor. He is reputed and, when he puts his mind to something, he makes sure he realises them, there are no empty promises."
As chairman of Singapore Grand Prix, Teo had played a massive role in the Formula 1 Singapore race since 2008.
"We have to see how we handle the claims that a completely new (FAS leadership) team can bring the standard of football up. It's always easy to make these claims, but realising them will be more difficult," said Lim.
The lawyer pointed to that as a major challenge for his team, along with changing the perception that the incumbents are solely responsible for the state of football here.
Lim's team of nine will also include Bernard Tan and Edwin Tong - both vice-presidents of the FAS provisional council - and Balestier Khalsa chairman S Thavaneson.
Lim declined to reveal the rest of his slate, saying only that there will be "new faces, and even younger ones from the lower tiers of football (in Singapore) with skills and experience to steer football forward".
Teo has previously said that he would sit out the FAS election, with age and health issues enough to keep him busy without the added burden of guiding the sport forward.
But football clearly runs in the blood of the 70-year-old, who has earned the title of "Godfather" because of his commitment to Singapore football.
"I got nothing to lose, my views are different, and I can speak with a clear conscience," Teo said with gusto yesterday.
"My health has improved a lot recently, I've done 15 years of good work and I think I can still do four or five years more. They have asked me to join them, and I will," added the 70-year-old, who gave up the chairmanship of Tampines Rovers in 2015.
Teo promised that Lim's team will not be a rubber-stamping organisation that will perpetuate the same ideas that led local football to its current state.
"I am not a guy who will keep saying 'yes sir' to Kia Tong, but I am here to help," said Teo.