This is the media statement of Suresh Nair, who for 17 years has been the most senior of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) referee assessors. But on Tuesday, the FAS Appeals Committee turned down his appeal to contest the upcoming FAS elections on April 29 under Bill Ng’s “Game Changers”.

Here is his fully transcribed media statement:
“I’m very disappointed that my appeal has been dismissed, rather unbelievably, without a reason or an explanation.

“Personally, I feel very hurt that isolated incidents of the past have been brought to the fore, not withstanding that I’m the most senior in the 18 current batch of FAS referee assessors in the S-League and Prime League.

“I feel that the Appeals Committee (AC) owes me a reason for dismissal, given that the original decision was based on matters which affect my integrity. Without informing me why they were dismissing my appeal, I don’t even know if the rejection was based on the same reasons used by the Election Committee (EC) to initially disqualify me, or indeed if the appeal was based on any reasons at all.

“This being the first democratic FAS election ever, it sets a very undesirable precedent where candidates can simply be disqualified without being told why they were, and could give rise to the risk of a perception of arbitrariness in the qualification process.

“As far as I’m aware, the EC raised a matter which had already been dealt with previously, so going back to rely on that matter as a means of disqualifying me is unjustified, especially when I was subsequently appointed to football positions, where the highest integrity levels were required.

“So unless the AC comes up with good reasons, the primary disquiet over my disqualification will remain unaddressed.

“For the past 17 years since formally certified as an AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and FA England referee instructor in 1999, I’ve been advising referees, in the S-League and Prime League, amongst other refereeing matters, on the proprieties of integrity.

“Having said that, as they say, take it on the chin, and as much as I’m now not eligible for the upcoming FAS election, I will wholeheartedly support the ‘Game Changers’ as I believe a real change is what football needs here and Bill Ng’s team can provide that refreshing alternative.”

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