Association sport

Singapore Football Association president Lim Kia Tong dies aged 70

SINGAPORE: Mr Lim Kia Tong, President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), has died at the age of 70.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, September 14, the association wrote: “FAS is devastated to learn of the sudden death of our Chairman, Mr. Lim Kia Tong.

“Mr. Lim had been FAS’ first elected president since 2017 and was a dedicated servant of the sport he loved.”

From Thursday, FAS will set up a tribute space in the lobby of the FAS office at Jalan Besar Stadium for people who wish to pay their respects.

“On behalf of the FAS Council, the secretariat and the wider football fraternity, we send our deepest condolences to the family of the late Mr Lim during their time of bereavement,” the association added.

Mr Lim was first elected FAS President in April 2017 after his LKT team beat Mr Bill Ng’s Game Changers team 30-13. He was re-elected unopposed as FAS President for a second four-year term in 2021.

A criminal litigator, Mr. Lim had served on the FAS committee since 1999. He first served as a board member before becoming vice-chairman in 2007, before his election as president.

He also became the first Singaporean to take on a leadership role on a FIFA committee when he was elected vice-chairman of its Disciplinary Committee in May 2013.

Culture, Community and Youth Minister Edwin Tong expressed his shock at hearing the news and offered his deepest condolences to Mr Lim’s family.

Mr. Tong had joined Mr. Lim on the FAS board in 2013 and also called him “a tenacious litigator, but he always fought his cases with uncommon compassion and with much more heart than many would know. “.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mr Tong said Mr Lim “was totally devoted to football, engrossed in doing his best to uplift Singapore football”, adding that he was also a respected FIFA figure. and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

“He knew that football, as a team game, needed a team not only on the pitch but also off it.

“So he reached out to different factions and personalities, and with his kind character, gradually healed divisions and brought people together.”

AFC Chairman Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa also issued a statement after news of Mr Lim’s death was announced.

“On behalf of the AFC and the Asian football family, please accept my heartfelt condolences and sympathy on the passing of our dear friend, FAS President Lim Kia Tong.

“Lim has dedicated a lot of his life, not just to Singapore football but to Asian and world football,” Mr Shaikh Salman said.

Mr. Lim was a member of the AFC’s Legal Committee from 2003 to 2006 and of its Disciplinary Committee from 2007 to 2011. He was Chairman of the AFC’s Discipline and Ethics Committee from March 11 until time of his death.

As President, Mr. Lim carried out his role with “the utmost professionalism and integrity and was a strong advocate of good governance”, said Mr. Shaikh Salman.

“The Asian football family has lost a true servant of the game whose contributions and leadership will be forever cherished and remembered,” he added.

Sport Singapore said it was deeply saddened by Mr Lim’s sudden passing.

In a Facebook post, SportSG said Mr Lim was a much-loved figure in the local and international football scene who spent more than 20 years of his life contributing to local football.

“Despite the challenges along the way, he remained determined to see football progress,” SportSG said.

He added that Mr. Lim’s leadership was key in initiating Unleash the Roar – a national project to build a sustained and structured football development system in Singapore.

“We will continue to see through his dreams of uniting Singaporeans through football,” SportSG said.

“On behalf of SportSG’s Board, Management, Staff and Sporting Singapore, we send our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Lim’s family during their time of bereavement.”