Young Lions penalised for ineligible players

Courts Young Lions have been penalised for fielding ineligible players in the opening four games of the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season.

Diallo looks to bend one into the top corner!
Gabriel Tan

By Gabriel Tan

All the matches - against Hougang United, Tampines Rovers, DPMM FC and Balestier Khalsa - will now be awarded as 3-0 victories to their respective opponents, as confirmed by a press statement released by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Thursday evening.

It has now emerged that the problem stems from the fact that Young Lions fielded players currently serving their full-time National Service (NS) that did not receive the necessary clearance to take part in those games, as explained by S.League director of operations Kok Wai Leong.

"Under S.League rules, all players need to fulfil all the necessary registration criteria such as valid local or international transfer certificates, fitness test and medical screenings," he said.

"However, the small group of players who are full-time National Servicemen are further required to obtain written approval from their respective relevant authorities.

"This was not conducted for some of the affected players in Courts Young Lions."

Asadullah Mohd, team manager of Young Lions, was quick to apologise for what he called an "administrative oversight".

"We sincerely apologise for the administrative oversight on our part and we accept the punishment the S.League management has meted out to us," he said.

"We appreciate the fans' support thus far and hope they will continue to support us in the season ahead."

An investigation will now be opened and further penalties could be delivered to any officials found guilty of negligence.

"We are deeply sorry for the [administrative] lapse on the part of our officials and have taken immediate measures to rectify the problem," revealed Ridzal Saat, a deputy director in FAS' Development and Planning department.

"We acknowledge the severity of the issue and will be taking internal disciplinary action against officials found to be negligent in their duties."

Young Lions fell to defeats in their opening three games, before earning what initially was their first point of the campaign on Wednesday night after a 1-1 draw with Balestier Khalsa.

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