The Singapore Football Association (FAS) council has lifted lifetime bans on former Singapore-born Indian striker K Kannan and former FIFA referee Thiru Rajamanickam following a 2021 review of appeals. On Friday, the FAS said in a media statement. President Lim Kia Tong said the decision was made by the council “after deep deliberation on the issues and key factors in both cases.”
A former Singapore international, Kannan banned football activities in 1995, against a Malaysian state team Perlis on 13 May 1994 on 13 May 1994 when a Singapore player conspired with SGD 80,000 to conspire with two other people for shopping with SGD 80,000.
He was sentenced to one year in prison and fined SGD 40,000 for the joint conspiracy charge. He was also sentenced to 18 months in prison and sentenced to pay SGD 5,000 for “corruption.”
Rajamanickam, a former FIFA judge, was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined SGD 1,000 for accepting SGD 1,000 for a weekly football purchase. He was scheduled to perform with the Singapore team named Malaysian Referee on 5 April 1994 with the Malaysian state team Kelantan.
He was banned for life from all football activities and was removed from the FAS referee list in 1994.
Singapore plays in the first league run by the Malaysian Football Association with the Malaysian states.
Bans for the two men were lifted on March 15, Channel News Asia reported, citing a FAS statement.
Lime said the decision does not have a “softening stance” on FAS football corruption.
The FAS said the council had “strictly complied” with the criteria and requirements of the FAS Constitution, including the nature and extent of the violation, the sentence imposed by the court, as well as the nature and contributions of the two men.
The council also noted that in both cases, the two men had already served a 26-year suspended sentence, in addition to the sentences imposed by the court, including the prison sentences they had served.
“Both people have also kept clean records since then,” the FAS said.
“Kannan and Rajamanickam must also carry out programs and activities, either in person or virtually or through publication, within six months of removing bans on protection against anti-corruption actions and commitments.” In a statement on Friday, Kannan thanked Eugene Thuraisingam LLP’s lawyers and Jose Raymond, a former opposition member, for their support in his appeal.
“I will always be grateful for everyone’s support, even in my darkest hours.
“Football has always been my life, and I will do everything I can to make a meaningful contribution to society,” Kannan said.
Lime said the FAS firmly maintains its “undeniable” stance that corruption has no place in football and will not be accepted in any way.
“Any player or official found guilty of such a crime can be expected to be treated to the full extent of the FAS Constitution,” he said.
Lime said Kannan and Rajamanickam had repeatedly rejected appeals to lift the bans, which “demonstrated the strong stance that the FAS has taken, is taking and will take” against match fixing and football corruption.
“Football has a huge following in Singapore and attracts fans from all walks of life. That is why the public interest requires maintaining the integrity of the game,” he added.
Last year, Kannani was reminded of a lifetime ban on football, as he was seen in the Indian Association Singapore as “involved in football management and football activities” following a complaint.
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