• Thu. Oct 5th, 2023

FAS Interim President does not confirm or deny if he was the EXCO member who asked the Technical Director to take over Philippe Aw with just 10 days to the SEA Games.

Jul 2, 2023 ,

Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Interim President Bernard Tan has not confirmed or denied if he was the Executive Council (EXCO) member who tried to get the Singapore Technical Director Michael Browne to take over from National Under-22 head coach Philippe Aw with less than two weeks before the team left for the Southeast Asian Games.



One of the reports submitted by a member of the technical review committee, which Tan himself convened, related how an EXCO member of the national football body allegedly informed Aw that Browne would be involved in the selection, training and would henceforth allegedly have a hand in leading the SEA Games Team.

This was following the March Merlion Cup in Singapore, when Aw told local media that the issues facing Singapore football was from the failures from 10 years ago.

After the Merlion Cup debacle, where Singapore lost to both Hong Kong and Cambodia, Browne had a meeting with the SEA Games coaching and technical staff, including Aw and the EXCO member, to brief them on his involvement that included him taking charge of some training sessions.

Aw was not agreeable and left the meeting in a huff.

Browne then decided not to interfere with the team’s preparation and thus left it to Aw to manage and prepare for the Games as it was only 10 days away from the start of competition. 

This particular EXCO member is allegedly not named in the SEA Games review report even though it was brought up during the interviews with among others, Aw himself.

It is not known why there was a need to protect the EXCO member if this was discovered through the interview and review process.

The other EXCO members, apart from Tan are Vice-Presidents S. Thavaneson, Ben Teng, Razali Saad and Teo Hock Seng. 


The Straits Times also ran the report about what was discovered in two of the reports it has seen. 

When queried, Tan did not confirm or deny if he is indeed the EXCO member who was responsible for the decision which apparently ended up sowing the seeds of discord between Aw and Browne.

“Discussions in the FAS remain confidential,” he said.

He also asked that the public wait for its own version of the report.

“The public should wait for the FAS release, and to use the same release we make on the report,” he added.

“The observations in the reports are subject to fact-checking and corroboration, and this is still in the process of being done. 

“The conclusions drawn from this (initial) report may not be accurate.”

Is Tan farcically suggesting that his own technical review committee has not been thorough with their assessments which is why there needs to be further corroboration of facts?

Is he casting a slur on the same people he has put in charge of the review?

Is the corroboration required because he has been implicated as a cause of the implosion at the SEA Games, where the Young Lions did not win a single match, and also ended up losing 7-0 to Malaysia, aside from losses to Vietnam and Thailand?

This somewhat beggars belief. 

When justifying his review panel, Tan said in an interview with Mothership, “The people who are involved [in the panel], I trust them…they are people of integrity and they are people of honour. 

“And they love football. I don’t think they will mince their judgement. I am confident that they will come up with something.”

“I don’t think they will mince their judgement. I am confident that they will come up with something.”

Bernard Tan, FAS Interim President

The technical review panel comprised of Razali Saad, Lim Tong Hai, Harman Ali and Jita Singh, a former national coach . 

Razali, Lim and Harman are members of the FAS leadership (see image above).

When announced on 20 May, a six-week timeline was provided for the findings to be made public. 

It is understood that a briefing will be held in the week of 3 July to release the FAS’ version of what was discovered. 

In the meantime, TMSG has received another poison pen email providing a blow by blow account of the inner workings of the FAS, which we are studying.


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