FAS confirm police visit as the half-million-dollar saga takes another twist

Officers from the Singapore Police Force visited the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) premises at Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday afternoon as the matter of the infamous $500,000 donation took another twist.

Some members of the media were already stationed at the stadium on Thursday afternoon, including a FourFourTwo reporter, who witnessed police enter the buliding at roughly 4.30pm.

As part of their investigations, officers from the Singapore Police Force visited the FAS on Thursday evening

- FAS Statement

Winston Lee, general secretary of the FAS who has become embroiled in the controversy, was photographed by FourFourTwo also entering the building (as seen above).

The FAS released a released a statement shortly after 1am on Friday morning confirming what a number of reporters had seen.

“As part of their investigations, officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) visited the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Thursday evening. We have extended, and will continue to extend, our fullest cooperation to the SPF during their investigation,” read the statement attributed to an FAS spokesman.

“As investigations are ongoing, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further on the matter.”

The developments are yet another twist in a saga that is showing no signs of slowing down.

Reporters were already gathering at Jalan Besar earlier on Thursday

It all began when FAS presidential hopeful Bill Ng and his Team Game Changers held a press conference on April 13, when as part of his manifesto he revealed his version of events surrounding a $500,000 donation made to FAS by him on behalf of Tiong Bahru FC.

According to Ng, he was unaware of where the money had ended up, but stated his belief it had been passed on to a body titled the ASEAN Football Federation’s Football Management System.

That revelation has led to a metaphorical tennis match between Game Changers and the FAS, which has included the regular trading of barbs, the denial of claims on both sides and even the threat of legal action.

Late on Wednesday night this week the FAS had released another statement to the media on behalf of Lee, their fourth statement so far on the matter, but then withdrew it just over an hour later to seek legal advice.

The matter has certainly now taken a legal turn following Thursday’s police involvement.

FourFourTwo posted its photo of Lee entering the FAS on social media on Thursday evening and it drew a number of negative comments, including one from former S.League coach Jorg Steinebrunner.

“That’s how far Winston and (former FAS president) Zainudin (Nordin) have brought FAS … it’s a disgrace and shameful,” it read.

The FAS elections, which are being held for the first time, will take place on April 29.

Game Changers are taking on former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong’s Team LKT in the race for the presidency.

A photo released along with the Game Changers' post on social media

It would appear more subterfuge is being attempted behind the scenes, judging by a post made on the Game Changers’ Facebook page on Thursday evening which denied a suggesiton of disunity in their camp or members dropping out of the race.

Those rumours are untrue and the team remain united towards the objective of bringing forth a new era for Singapore Football

- Team Game Changers

“Huge thank you to the affiliates who are here with us for our dinner discussion,” the post read.

“There are rumours being circulated by irresponsible individuals that members of the Team Game Changers have dropped out.

“Those rumours are untrue and the team remain united towards the objective of bringing forth a new era for Singapore Football.

"The full slate for the elections for Team Game Changers has been confirmed for 29 April and the team is looking forward to it.”

Watch this space.

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo