FAS Candidates: The civil servants, the CEO and the shot-stopper
Kelvin Teo (aligned to Team LKT)
One of the higher-profile candidates running for a place on the council is Sembcorp Development chief executive Kelvin Teo.
If elected, Teo will bring vast experience especially in dealing with foreign counterparts as he has been involved in the start-up and joint venture management of all of Sembcorp Development's projects across Vietnam, China and Indonesia since joining in 1993.
Teo is also an accountant and is an affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in the United Kingdom.
Michael Foo (aligned to Team LKT)
A familiar name at grassroots level, Foo is one of the favourites for the six individual council seats, particularly due to his role as the director of the People’s Association (PA).
The PA plays an integral role as a statutory board, promoting racial harmony and social cohesion in Singapore and it is hoped Foo’s potential inclusion on the FAS council may lead to more tie-ups in the future between the PA and the FAS.
One possible avenue that can be explored is to get more supporters to S.League matches through the PA’s various outreach activities, while local players can also lend support to campaigns organised by the PA.
Rizal Rasudin (aligned to Team LKT)
Another NFL club representative running for a place in this election is Rizal Rasudin, chairman of NFL Division 2 club Admiralty CSC.
Rizal’s possible area of focus if elected has already been laid bare through previous interviews with local media, when he expressed his belief the lower tiers of the local game were being neglected, with referees turning up late for games and floodlights not being turned on at certain matches.
Rizal, 36, who is also a councillor with the Sembawang Town Council, had also criticised the previous FAS committee for not reaching out to the people on the ground.
Yakob Hashim (aligned to Team LKT)
Another previous critic of the FAS who is running for a seat in this election is former national goalkeeper Yakob Hashim, who was roped in by Lim Kia Tong as the latter seeks better representation at the grassroots level.
Yakob, who has declared his hopes for the revival of the amateur football scene, is an example of how that scene can be a possible talent pool for the national team.
Yakob came through the ranks from the now-defunct NFL Division 3 all the way to the national team in 1979.
He is also currently the coach of NFL Division 1 club Yishun Sentek Mariners and was the goalkeeping coach for the Singapore under-15 side during the Youth Olympic Games held in 2010.
Lai Boon Teck (aligned to Team Game Changers)
A whistle blower, quite literally, Lai Boon Teck is a former FIFA assistant referee and is in the running for one of the council seats.
Lai also has regional standing as he has served as an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Match Commissioner
A former civil servant with Singapore Customs for almost 46 years, Lai has already revealed that he hopes to see refereeing standards and systems improved – a bugbear for some players and coaches over the years.
Notably, Lai was previously the FAS Referees’ Department head where he was instrumental in introducing wireless on-field communications for better interaction among the match officials.
Lai also has regional standing as he has served as an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Match Commissioner.
Kumar Appavoo (not aligned to either of team)
While this may be the first time that the FAS is holding an election for its council members, Kumar Appavoo is no stranger to elections themselves.
While he may be an independent candidate here, Kumar ran as a member of the Reform Party in the 2015 General Election albeit unsuccessfully in Radin Mas SMC.
Appavoo, 48, owns oil and gas company Chel Industrial Gases and is also the vice chairman of NFL club Gymkhana FC. In addition, he is also a volunteer hockey coach at St Andrew's Junior School.
While Appavoo initially failed the eligibility and integrity test of the FAS Electoral Committee (EC), a successful appeal since has meant that he will indeed be vying for a council seat come April 29.
Sebastian Tan (not aligned to either team)
The final independent candidate profiled in these elections, Sebastian Tan is another who will be bidding to convince the 44 eligible FAS affiliates to vote for him.
A deputy director with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Tan is a qualified and registered FAS referee while he has previously spent 15 years in the Singapore Police Force as an officer.
Speaking to local media, Tan has already shed light on what his area of focus will be if elected – he aims to bring more attention to social football as he believes there are plenty of talented men and women who can be harnessed by the FAS.
Tan is also one of the few candidates who has no connection to any NFL or S.League side, a fact that may help or hinder his case when it comes to voting.