The $500,000 FAS-linked donation that triggered a police probe

The Football Association of Singapore office.

The raids conducted at the premises of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and three local football clubs on Thursday (20 April) revolve around a controversial $500,000 donation from Bill Ng, an FAS presidential hopeful.

Ng revealed at a press conference on 13 April on that he was approached by FAS general secretary Winston Lee to support the ASEAN Football Federation’s (AFF) Football Management System.

Ng, who is chairman of Tiong Bahru Football Club, said that he had donated about $500,000 to AFF through FAS and claimed the FAS council did not know about the donations. He also said he did not know what happened to the money.

Lee then called Ng’s insinuations about fund misuse “baseless and untrue”. Ng and Lee subsequently traded barbs, refuting each other’s accusations.

On 15 April, an FAS spokesman said it was former FAS president Zainudin Nordin who asked Ng to donate to the AFF.

On 16 April, SportSG, the governing sports body, called on the FAS to give an explanation on how it had used the ‘large donations’.

On 18 April, Lee sent copies of a letter, a cheque and payment vouchers to the media to show that Bill Ng knowingly signed off on donating the $500,000 to the AFF. The letter also showed it was Zainudin who requested that Ng make the donation to AFF.

Ng refuted these claims, saying that Lee had prepared the letter addressed to Zainudin, and that he had never dealt with Zainudin on any of the donations. Zainudin had declined to comment about the issue.

On 19 April at about 10.54pm, Lee issued a statement accusing Ng of electioneering. However, the FAS communication department retracted the statement on 20 April at 12.11am, saying that “legal advice is being sought”.

Ng said on 20 April that he is willing to allow government agencies to inspect the books of Tiong Bahru FC. SportSG issued a statement on the same day to say that it had filed a police report over alleged misuse of funds at the club.

The FAS elections are due to be held on 29 April. Ng is leading Team Game Changers against a team led by Lim Kia Tong, the former FAS vice president.