FIFA slams brakes on Singapore FA polls over political interference

FIFA has told Singapore's football association to put internal elections on hold over possible political interference.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
1st September 2015

article:1st September 2015

Elections adjourned; National Stadium in Singapore.
Elections adjourned; National Stadium in Singapore.

FIFA has told Singapore’s football association to put internal elections on hold over possible political interference.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said it has been in talks with the world governing body, which opposes government interference in national football associations.

The FAS constitution available online states that all council members, including the president and deputy president, shall be appointed by a government minister and confirmed by voting at an annual general meeting.

FIFA’s request means that the FAS has had to shelve plans to elect a new council at its AGM this month.

“The FAS has been in communication with FIFA on the process of appointing office bearers,” the FAS said in a statement to AFP on Tuesday.

“FIFA has requested FAS not to make any changes to its office bearers until the FIFA has discussed the status of the FAS constitution pertaining to the appointment of the office bearers at its scheduled meeting in September 2015,” it added.

“Following its meeting, FIFA will advise FAS on the next course of action which may include changes to the constitution.”

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The Straits Times newspaper said Tuesday the term of the current FAS council, appointed on October 1 two years ago, will expire by the end of this month.

Since 2004, the FAS president has been succeeded by a vice president from the association, the Straits Times said. The FAS chief is traditionally an elected member of the ruling People’s Action Party.

In May this year, FIFA suspended Indonesia after the Jakarta government sought to oust the country’s football association.

A suspension for Singapore could end the city-state’s participation in ongoing 2018 World Cup qualifiers and rule Singapore clubs out of international competitions.