SINGAPORE – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has vowed to amend its constitution next year after FIFA demanded an end to political interference in the appointment of the national body's council members.
FAS' decision to comply comes about five months since FIFA suspended Indonesia, after the Jakarta government sought to oust the country's football association.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, September 30, FAS said it will work closely with FIFA on amendments that will "ensure alignment" of its election process with the statutes of the sport's global governing body.
"We will also seek the consent of our members and affiliates as well as the necessary regulatory approvals for any changes to the constitution," it said.
Compliance with FIFA rules is crucial for Singapore's participation in international competitions.
"We expect to amend our constitution by March next year, and will make a further announcement in due course on the timing of the council elections," FAS added.
The current FAS selection process is inconsistent with FIFA rules, which frown on government interference in national football associations.
The FAS constitution, available online, states that all council members, including the president and deputy president, shall be appointed by the Singapore minister in charge of sports and confirmed by voting at an annual general meeting.
The FAS chief is traditionally an elected member of the ruling People's Action Party, which has governed Singapore for the past 56 years.
FIFA had earlier asked FAS to put on hold internal elections due this month while the discussions are under way to amend the constitution.
In the statement, FAS highlighted that it will keep its current office bearers while working on the constitutional amendments.
It stressed that its current selection process has been in place since 1982 and FIFA did not make any objections until recently when it asked for a review.
A suspension for Singapore could end the city-state's participation in the ongoing 2018 World Cup qualifiers and rule Singapore clubs out of international competitions.