FAS general secretary Winston Lee hits back at Bill Ng over donation to AFF

The latest twist in the ongoing saga that is the upcoming elections of Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has seen general-secretary Winston Lee hit back at claims of impropriety on the management of donations.

Singapore football is entrenched in the lead-up to its first-ever election of the FAS executive committee, which is scheduled to take place on April 29.

Team LKT, comprising several members of the previous executive committee and headed by former vice-president Lim Kia Tong, is vying with Hougang United chairman Bill Ng's Game Changers to be at the helm of FAS for the next four years.

This week, Game Changers raised doubts over the previous regime's mismanagement of funds.

According to them, at Lee's request, Ng made a S$850,000 donation to FAS in 2015 with S$500,000 not properly accounted for.

It has since emerged that the S$500,000 was funnelled into the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) to aid in the development of its Football Management Systems (FMS), causing SportSG to call for an investigation once the new FAS Council is elected.

Ng's discontent stems from the fact that the donation had been made with the understanding that it would be used to aid the development of Singapore football, yet had been transferred to a regional organisation.

Last week, Lee responded by stating that Ng had full knowledge that the S$500,000 had been used to support AFF's FMS.

And, in another statement released via FAS on Tuesday evening, Lee went on to further dispute Game Changers' allegations.

"Bill Ng's statements are all patently false," he said. "The following facts, and the supporting documents, will make that clear.

"On 9 October 2014, Bill Ng wrote to [former FAS president] Zainudin Nordin to thank the latter for 'sharing' AFF's Football Management System with him. Bill Ng went on to say that 'we will contribute S$500,000 to ASEAN Football Federation through FAS to develop this Football Management System'."

The statement was accompanied by a copy of the letter in question from Ng to Zainudin, as well as five separate cheques with accompanying vouchers that state the donations were "being payment for sponsorship of AFF Football Management Systems".

Lee continued: "The above makes it clear that Bill Ng was not only intimately aware that the donation was going to AFF, but it was he who decided the purpose and the amount. He also gave the express instruction that the full amount was to go to AFF, and not to local football as he now claims.

"Accordingly, his statements that he was not aware, or that he thought the donation was strictly to benefit Singapore football are false.

"Regrettably, I believe Bill Ng's statement was intended to insinuate financial impropriety within FAS and to damage the credibility of FAS and myself. Given these clear facts which show otherwise, I call on Bill Ng to wholly and unconditionally apologise for his statements."

Outgoing FAS president Zainudin refused to comment on the saga or the latest developments when approached at his home on Tuesday evening.

"I already said I won't be commenting. I'm not running in the election," he told The Straits Times.