Ben will return to S’pore to do NS, says father

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The following is the full statement by Harvey Davis, the father of Ben Davis, in response to the latest statement by Mindef.

It is unfortunate that MINDEF has an impression that Ben would not return to serve his NS.

I would also like to make it known that I have been working through FAS, Sport Singapore and MCCY over Ben’s deferment and have not met anyone from MINDEF.

I am also not aware of what was presented by MCCY to MINDEF with regard to Ben’s request for deferment.

In my discussions with Sport SG and MCCY, I was clear that Ben should do his NS but the question is just when. This point was reiterated in an email response which was sent to MCCY on 15 May. In that email, I had said very clearly that while renunciation was an option, it “is “NOT” Ben’s intention at all as he would like to represent Singapore.”

I had also made it clear that for “clarity, and for the record, I agree 100% that Ben should do his National Service. My older boy has already completed his NS and both Ben and his younger brother Jai will also complete their NS. The only question is timing for Ben as we would like to give him the best opportunity to play at the highest possible professional level in the UK and Europe. If Ben does not get a renewed contract or new contract by May 2020 then he should return to serve his NS.”

In the same email, I added that we “are unable to commit to a date for his return should he be playing professional football in the UK or Europe” as it is also a possibility that Ben could be offered a new 2 year contract in 2019 after the 1st year of his pro-contract just like he has been offered a new 2 year pro contract half way through his 2-year scholarship contract” or that he could be sent out on loan or sold to another club.

There are a lot of variables all dependent on his development and progression, and anyone who understands how professional football and sports works will understand this.

It may be also better for MINDEF to inform us of what new information it requires so that we will be able to work with FAS to help provide the information. As I’ve stated in my email to MCCY on 15 May, Ben will return to Singapore and serve his National Service if he doesn’t get an extension of the current 2 year-contract.