Channel NewsAsia reported that a contract breach could have been the real reason behind the Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) decision to suspend football activities on weekends and weekday nights in some pitches at the Home United Youth Football Academy (HYFA). It said that the football club could have breached its lease contract, by using the two pitches for commercial purposes.
The news site reported:
“The original contract allows the club to conduct “youth-at-risk trainings” on its two 11-a-side fields and prohibits the setting up of lighting infrastructure and night activities. However, Home United (HUFC) had leased the pitch on weekends to local football academy JSSL Singapore, which constitutes a breach of its contract terms with SLA.”
It was earlier reported that the SLA acted against HYFA on the use of two of its pitches at the Mattar Road premises because of complaints by a few residents.
One of the disgruntled residents who launched the petition against HYFA, Oh Cher Ming, said that he was not against soccer of soccer clubs.
“Football is a game of passion,” he said. “Many of us, myself included, we enjoy sports. I play football as well. But what I cannot understand is why they are here in the first place. I don’t think there are similar football activities, such similar ones, in such close proximity to the residents. We have had great amount of noise, starting from very early until at night when the lights are off. It happens Monday to Friday, happens Saturday, Sunday, continues again on Monday.”
He added that initially HYFA and SLA were responsive to their grouses and met them to discuss possible compromises, but later became more distant. The area is demarcated for sports usage by the authorities.
Dr Oh said that the MP for the area, Ms Tin Pei Ling and her grassroots however were very responsive in engaging the disgruntled residents.
The petition against HYFA was started last year by a resident of the area, but it only gathered signatures from five families.
Ms Tin indeed came to the support of the disgruntled residents and reiterated what Dr Oh said, that they were not against sports or sports clubs operating in the vicinity.
“What they have been asking for is reprieve. To have some nights where they can have earlier rest, because at the peak of the whole issue, every night there has been activities till late. Over time as it built up, it was very stressful for them.”
Sports official Jose Raymond in criticising SLA’s decision earlier, asked if the agency acted just because of an appeal by Ms Tin.
Mr Raymond added: “Tin Pei Ling is coincidentally also the advisor of an S.League club (Geylang International FC) and should understand the value of football and it’s role in building a sporting culture in Singapore. The silence from The government’s sports agencies is deafening.”