Police to investigate after SportSG made report on alleged fund misuse at Tiong Bahru Football Club

Police to investigate after SportSG made report on alleged fund misuse at Tiong Bahru Football Club
Mr Bill Ng, chairman of Tiong Bahru Football Club.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

The police will launch an investigation after Sport Singapore (SportSG) filed a report on the alleged misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru 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," the police said in a statement.

Its statement followed soon after the release of the national sports agency's press statement this afternoon, which explained why it had to make the police report last night (April 19).

Apart from the suspected misuse of funds, SportSG said there was a purported attempt by a senior officer at a club to instigate another club to delay or obstruct the completion of audits until after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election has ended on April 29.

Managed by Bill Ng, Tiong Bahru FootBall Club was thrust into the limelight after questions were raised about its $500,000 donation to a regional footballing body before the election. Mr Ng is reportedly one of the two presidential candidates.

The Straits Times reported that Mr Ng had been in a verbal exchange with FAS general secretary Winston Lee over who knew about the donation and what it was to be used for.

The amateur club was also questioned on how it managed to come up with such a big donation. Checks by The Straits Times showed the club's gross income was reported to be $36.8 million, an amount which exceeds the FAS' budget of $35.8 million for the financial year that ended in March last year.

chenj@sph.com.sg

Read also: Tiong Bahru FC made $37 million from jackpot revenue

SportSG statement:

"On 3 April 2017, SportSG received a letter from a named individual alleging that a senior officer of a Football Club had instigated another Club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits until after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Elections, scheduled to be held on 29 April 2017, with false reasons.

"The said audits had been initiated in mid-2016 by the FAS in response to queries by SportSG.

"Following the media reports that Tiong Bahru Football Club had donated $500,000 to the ASEAN Football Federation through the FAS, SportSG looked into the matter, and received further information on 18 April 2017.

"On the same day, SportSG also made further checks, which raised other serious questions about the use of Club funds.

"Based on legal advice, SportSG decided to file a police report on 19 April 2017 at about 7:50pm, in respect of suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club'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 will also request to meet the FAS' Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to clarify the way ahead for the upcoming elections."

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