• Thu. Oct 5th, 2023

FAS sends SEA Games footballer to CPIB for lie-detector test. Why? Is this justifiable?

Jun 15, 2023

A Singapore national footballer was sent for a polygraph test at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) at its Lengkok Bahru headquarters on 25 May, after the 2023 Southeast Asian Games, TMSG can confirm. 


It is understood that he was the only player sent for the random polygraph test by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), a policy which has been in place for more than 20 years in Singapore to serve as a deterrent of match-fixing in local football. 

It is not known why the player was randomly selected for the polygraph test, and what were the results of the test.

The FAS is not obliged to reveal the results of any polygraph tests, and did not respond to TMSG’s queries when asked how many players have been sent for the tests so far this year.

CPIB also did not respond to TMSG’s queries at time of publication and will update this story if they do respond. 

Coincidentally, the footballer in question was also not selected to be part of national coach Takayuki Nishigaya’s squad for the upcoming set of international friendly matches against Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

No reasons were given for his exclusion and his absence was not explained in an interview with the national coach which was posted on the FAS website on 8 June. 

However, Nishigaya did say that “my coaches and I are watching every game, including our players in the U22 team and we have high expectations on what is required to be a National Team player. 

“At the end of the day, the best players, with the right attitude on and off the pitch, will be in our National Team.”


Multiple sources close to TMSG indicated that the polygraph test for the player was random and was conducted to check on any possible match-fixing in play during the Southeast Asian Games.


TMSG asked the FAS if it received any information or evidence that may have suggested that there was malfeasance. 

There was no response from the national football body.

TMSG understands that an FAS official informed the player’s club official through a phone call that the player was to report to the CPIB on 25 May for the test. 

There was no official follow up email from the FAS to the club official to confirm the appointment, but the player in question turned up for the test, nevertheless.

25 May is five days after the FAS announced that it had set up the review committee to look into the dismal performances by the Young Lions at the Cambodia SEA Games, where Singapore was the worst performer among 10 teams in the men’s football competition.

Whether the FAS was trying to ascertain if there was any hanky-panky at play is unknown, with commenters also pointing to the possibility of the FAS hunting for scapegoats, and to check if the absence of key players in the final dead rubber against Malaysia was somewhat deliberate.

In that match, three players from Lion City Sailors – Nur Adam Abdullah, Bill Mamadou and Abdul Rasaq Akeem – reported to team officials that they were unfit to play and played no part in the match (see match details sheet below).

But two of the three featured in the Sailors 3-3 Singapore Premier League match on 13 May, just two days after the 11 May drubbing, having been brought back to Singapore earlier than the rest of the contingent a day prior.

The match against Malaysia was inconsequential to the grander scheme of things, given that the Young Lions had already lost to Thailand, Vietnam and could only earn a draw against Laos, which knocked them out of the competition.

Coincidentally, none of the three players are currently in Nishigaya’s squad for the two ‘A’ internationals even though Rasaq was recently voted as the SPL’s Young Player of the Month, while Nur Adam has been Lions pillar for at least two years. 

Both Nur and Rasaq’s absence from Nishigaya’s squad had raised the fans’ ire, with a few messages being submitted to TMSG via DMs questioning their exclusion.


There are three sets of contracts and guideline documents which current players are bound by when they represent their clubs in the Singapore Premier League – a contract with their club, a Players Code of Conduct, and a set of Singapore Premier League Regulations. 

The only mention of random polygraph testing is made in the Players Code of Conduct, which is headlined for the Singapore Premier League and Singapore Cup 2023. 

So why were questions which were posed to the player during the test mostly pertaining to the SEA Games? 

Does the FAS have jurisdictional right to induce the player to answer questions about the SEA Games in this instance, in the absence of any possible crime?

Did the FAS inform the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) that it was sending one of Team Singapore’s athletes who participated at the Games for a polygraph test, to query him about performances at the SEA Games, given that the athletes at the SEA Games comes under the jurisdiction of the SNOC?

For the SEA Games, the players had to sign off on an Athletes Agreement with the SNOC, but there is no mention of mandatory or random polygraph testing. 

What is problematic is that there is no clarity on what happens if the player decided not to avail himself for the test or choose not to answer any question about the SEA Games, given that based on the current contracts, he is not bound to answer any question apart from what happens during SPL matches.

There is a precedence, though.

In 2001, goalkeeper Shamsuri Ahmad refused to take the test when summoned.

He was subsequently submitted before a disciplinary hearing and when told of the consequences of not taking the test, he ended up relenting. 

Following that, there was also another instance where another player failed his polygraph test, and club chairmen were told to avoid signing him for the S-League. 

But in the absence of any real evidence of wrongdoing, one local club still went on to sign him anyway. 


The FAS, in its defence of its policy, will point to how its polygraph testing regime is lauded by the world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. 

But what about the rights of the players, especially in the absence of any real evidence?

Why should players subject themselves to a polygraph test without any evidence which have been made known? 

Shouldn’t the polygraph test on players ONLY be used when there is evidence or a strong suspicion to support the use of the tool to check if there is any untoward activity or behaviour?

Even if players have nothing to be worried about given that it is random, there is also the chance of false positives, given that anxiety can also impact the way polygraph tests are conducted. 

And what happens in this instance if a footballer turns up a false positive? 

Also, why is the test being conducted at an investigation facility at CPIB (photo below), and shouldn’t the polygraph test be conducted through an independent third-party provider at the national football headquarters or at the club facilities? Such providers, which are licensed by the authorities are readily available.


Why are state resources being used for what is just a fishing expedition in the absence of any real evidence of criminal wrongdoing? 

How about the possibility of the polygraph testing regime being abused?

Sources close to the national footballer who was summoned for the 25 May polygraph test said that the player was utterly disappointed and dejected at the ignominy of having the go through a lie-detector test.

“It is like he is doing his best on the field of play, and the FAS has made it look like he was at fault at the SEA Games, and worst of all, has now cast a shadow on his professionalism,” said the source on condition of anonymity.

Lawyers TMSG spoke to reminded readers about the fact that results of polygraph tests were inadmissible in court as evidence. 

In the case of Shamsuri Ahmad from 2001, it was also reported that the officer who administered the test also informed the player that he was not obliged to take the test.

It is not known if this was the same for the player in this story, as he was not reachable. 

Chooi Jing Yen, a partner of one of Singapore’s top legal firms Eugene Thuraisingam LLP (ETLLP) told TMSG that there is no legal obligation for anyone to submit to a polygraph test. 


“Even the police cannot force a person to submit to a polygraph test without their consent, much less an employee with no contractual obligation to do so,” he said.

Chooi, whose firm ETLLP successfully acted for former footballer K. Kannan in his legal challenge against the FAS to lift his life ban, also added that depending on the facts of the case, players may have a legal recourse if their reputations have been damaged in any way because of the polygraph testing.

“It is going to depend on the specific facts of each case,” he said. 

“How the publication is worded and how the eventual results are themselves publicised would have an impact on whether there would be a possible claim for defamation.

The FAS did not respond to any of TMSG’s queries.

CPIB did not respond to TMSG’s queries.

The player’s club did respond to any of TMSG’s queries at time of publication.


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