SINGAPORE: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has provisionally suspended a council member over a potential breach. Revealing that the individual in question is currently under investigation by the FAS ethics committee, an FAS spokesperson told the press:
“The FAS can confirm that a council member has been provisionally suspended pending an inquiry by the FAS ethics committee on a potential breach. The suspension is due to the pending inquiry, and the council member’s duties have been reassigned accordingly.”
According to The Straits Times, the suspended council member is Harman Ali, the founder and head coach of Global Football Academy. Harman serves as the head coach of the Singapore Football League Division 2 side GFA Sporting Westlake FC.
In response to the suspension, Harman has enlisted the services of a lawyer to handle the matter. Meanwhile, the FAS has appointed Advocatus Law as its legal representative in the ongoing investigation.
Asserting that he does not wish for the matter “to be litigated via the media,” Harman told the national broadsheet: “My lawyer, Mr Glenn Knight, will act on my behalf and deal with the FAS directly. In the interests of preserving the integrity of the proceedings, I shall refrain from commenting further on this matter henceforth.”
The “potential breach” that led to the suspension is reportedly related to an allegedly leaked document that surfaced after a review of the national men’s Under-22 football team’s performance at the 2023 SEA Games in May. A four-man panel, including Harman, was formed to investigate the team’s subpar performance, which included a 7-0 loss to Malaysia.
The FAS did not make the full report submitted by the panel public but announced a list of 10 recommendations on July 7, 2023. The controversy intensified on June 30, 2023, when online publication The Monitor SG (TMSG) published a story based on “portions of the review.” The FAS, in response, urged members not to react to the story, emphasizing the need to wait for the final report.
Following the TMSG story, the FAS reportedly queried the panel, leading to the current suspension of Harman Ali. His term began in 2021 and is set to run until 2025.