He may have gotten his certificate of eligibility to run to become the next President of Singapore.
But former Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam would unfortunately not qualify if he wanted to become the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) President, regardless his intellect and ability.
According to the FAS Constitution, a candidate must have played an active role in association football as a board member, committee member, or an official within FIFA, a confederation or a member of the FAS for two of the last five years.
This means that Shanmugaratnam aside, even Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wanted to stand for elections to become the President of the FAS, he would not unfortunately not qualify.
This is how narrow the eligibility criteria is for anyone to head up the national football body.
Which is a problem, given that the national football body would probably need the best brains available to take it out of its current doldriums.
THE SEARCH HAS BEGUN
But nonetheless, the search for a President to helm the football body is now on.
On 18 August, the FAS issued the notice of the upcoming Congress, which will include the electing of the President of the FAS for the remainder of the current term till 2025.
The Congress will be held on 23 September 2023 at Sheraton Towers.
The position of the President of the national football body has been helmed by Acting President Bernard Tan, following the sudden passing of former President Lim Kia Tong in September 2022.
WILL THERE BE ANY CHALLENGERS TO BERNARD TAN?
At this point, with a month to go before the elections, it does not look likely that there will be any challengers to Tan, even though he has been a lightning rod over the last few months since he was thrust into. the position.
TMSG understands that former Gombak United chairman John Yap was thinking of throwing his hat into the ring, but he decided against it after realising that he may not qualify based on the very eligibility criteria.
TMSG had also suggested that among the others who shoould be trying to make a play for the position were current Vice-President Teo Hock Seng, and chairman of Tampines Rovers, Desmond Ong.
It does not look likely that either will stand though.
Which means that when 23 September comes, FAS and Singapore football will be left with no other choice, except Tan.
And that would be a travesty.
MAIN PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES
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