New FAS president by year-end
FAS to have AGM on Sept 24 and election by year-end
The wheels have been set in motion for Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to elect a new president by the end of the year.
Yesterday, the national football body announced it will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sept 24.
The agenda for the AGM includes seeking approval from its 46 affiliates and members, for amendments to the constitution which will allow an election of office-bearers, which TNP understands, is set to take place before November's AFF Suzuki Cup.
At the election, candidates who receive a majority vote from these affiliates and members - which comprise local football clubs from the professional S.League and amateur National Football League - for the position they are contesting, will be elected as office-bearers.
The amendments of the constitution include the stipulation of the need for elections for council members, which is in line with global football body Fifa's regulations.
Fifa has taken issue with article 19.3 of FAS' constitution that was last updated in 2011.
The article states that "all council members shall be appointed by the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (the former name of the current Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)" - including the FAS president - "and shall, unless otherwise decided by the Minister, hold office for a period of two years".
Outgoing FAS president Zainudin Nordin was appointed in 2009, when he was serving as a Member of Parliament. He was not put forward as a candidate at last year's Singapore General Election.
Brunei's national football association was suspended from football activities from September 2009 to May 2011 and Indonesia's from May 2015 to May this year, for direct government interference in their affairs, but Fifa on Wednesday told TNP those cases are different from Singapore's current situation.
Last Friday, a taskforce led by FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong presented the proposed constitutional changes to the FAS Council.
This came after "months of consultation", with various key stakeholders of local football, as well as global governing body Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation, said the FAS.
The proposed changes will now require Fifa's approval, which the FAS hopes will arrive within the next two weeks.
Said Lim: "The review of the FAS constitution has been a reasonably long process.
"We felt that it was necessary to take the time to engage the key stakeholders involved, as this marks a new chapter in our footballing scene, and we wanted to ensure that we considered the various elements recommended by Fifa, and solicit feedback and consultation.
"We are confident that with the amendments, the association will now be substantially in alignment with Fifa's regulatory requirements."
Lim, a 64-year-old lawyer who is also the deputy chairman of Fifa's Disciplinary Committee, has been touted as a possible candidate to succeed Zainudin as FAS president.
He had told TNP earlier that he was "honoured and humbled by the speculation" of him running for president, but he remained focused on his primary task in the FAS at the moment, which was amending its constitution.
Only one group - put together by R Vengadasalam, a former team manager of now-defunct S.League side Woodlands Wellington - has declared its interest in running at the FAS election.
However, Venga has yet to announce the names of candidates he will be putting forward.