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Alleged misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club’s funds

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    • SportSG files police report for alleged misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club’s funds

      SINGAPORE: Sport Singapore (SportSG) has filed a police report after it received a letter alleging that a senior officer of Tiong Bahru Football Club (TBFC) had instigated another club to "delay and/or obstruct" the completion of audits until after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Elections, it said on Thursday (Apr 20).

      The governing body of local sports said in a press release that it decided to file a police report on Apr 19 at about 7.50pm over the suspected misuse of TBFC’s funds and a purported attempt by a senior officer of the club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits into the S.League sit-out clubs.

      SportSG said on Apr 16 that it had asked FAS in July 2016 to look into the proposed merger of Woodlands Wellington FC (WWFC) with Hougang following the end of the 2014 S.League season, which ultimately fell through. 

      SportSG said it had received complaints from the public about the proposed merger between Hougang and WWFC, and how WWFC's assets such as jackpot machines were being apportioned. 

      WWFC fans, who lodged the complaints, also questioned the legality of the merger. 

      The merger was eventually called off in 2016 after FAS said that it was "not feasible for implementation".

      In the same statement, Sport SG also expressed concerns over TBFC chairman Bill Ng's S$500,000 donation to the FAS in 2014. 

      "Following the media reports that Tiong Bahru Football Club had donated S$500,000 to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) through the FAS, SportSG looked into the matter, and received further information on Apr 18," SportSG said. 

      In response, a spokesman for Bill Ng released a statement to say that he will be fully cooperating with local authorities over the matter. 

      Mr Ng, who is vying for the FAS presidency and leads the Team Game Changers slate in the leadership election on Apr 29, told reporters that the national footballing body had asked him for a donation rather than a sponsorship for the now-defunct football club LionsXII.  

      The general secretary of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Winston Lee produced evidence to rebut Mr Ng's claims and prove that Mr Ng was fully aware that his S$500,000 donation was meant for AFF. 

      SportSG added that it will also request to meet the FAS’ Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to clarify the way ahead for the upcoming elections.

      In a statement on Thursday, the police confirmed that a report has been lodged by SportSG in relation to a football club.

      "The police will conduct a thorough investigation and will take appropriate action against any persons who have committed offences in Singapore. As investigations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to comment further at this point,” police said. 

      - CNA/am
    • Investigators raid FAS, 3 football clubs premises

      SINGAPORE: Plain clothes investigators were seen at the headquarters of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and the premises of three local football clubs on Thursday (April 20).

      The raids were conducted shortly after SportSG announced that it had filed a police report against Tiong Bahru FC for the misuse of club funds and an alleged attempt by a senior club official to obstruct the completion of audits of S.League sit-out clubs. 

      The police have confirmed that the report was lodged and that it will take appropriate action against "any persons who have committed offences in Singapore". 

      Officers were seen at the FAS headquarters at Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday afternoon, carrying cardboard boxes, asking to speak to personnel in charge.

      Local media gathered were not allowed to enter the FAS office. As of 8.45pm, officers were still seen inside the building.

      A team of investigators also visited Tiong Bahru FC’s clubhouse at People’s Park Centre at Upper Cross Street.

      A group of plain clothes officers were seen carrying empty cardboard boxes into the premises. 

      At Hougang United FC's office located at Hougang stadium, officers seen loading up filled cardboard boxes into police vans.

      Channel NewsAsia understands that the offices of Woodlands Wellington FC were also raided by investigators. 

      Bill Ng, who is vying for the FAS presidency and leads the Team Game Changers slate in the leadership election on Apr 29, is the chairman for both Hougang United FC and Tiong Bahru FC. 

      In its statement on Thursday, Sport SG expressed concerns over Bill Ng's S$500,000 donation to the FAS in 2014.

      Mr Ng told reporters that the national footballing body had asked him for a donation rather than a sponsorship for the now-defunct football club LionsXII but the general secretary of the FAS Winston Lee produced evidence he claimed rebutted Mr Ng's claims and showed that Mr Ng was fully aware that his S$500,000 donation was meant for the ASEAN Football Federation.

      Channel NewsAsia has contacted the Singapore Police Force and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for comment about Thursday evening's events.

      - CNA/am
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