SINGAPORE: Sport Singapore (SportSG) has thrown its support behind the Ministry of Defence's (MINDEF) decision to reject Fulham footballer Benjamin Davis' deferment request, it said in a statement on Wednesday (Jul 18).
That is because the Davis family was "unable" to give a commitment to return to serve his national service (NS).
"Definitive commitment to return to serve NS at a specified date has to be paramount for deferment applications," explained SportSG.
"In this case, MCCY (Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth) and SportSG had earlier engaged the Davis family, where we had communicated to the family the importance of making that commitment.
"As they were unable to give the commitment, SportSG supports MINDEF’s decision to reject the application."
Earlier on Wednesday, MINDEF said that Benjamin's father, Harvey Davis, "would not commit to a date" on when his son intended to return and serve his national service (NS) during the deferment application process.
"(Benjamin's) actions are meant to further his own professional career, not national interest. As his father openly admitted, he is looking out for his son's future, not Singapore's," said MINDEF.
SportSG added that it recognises that football as a sport has the ability to rally and inspire Singaporeans, as with many other team sports, and it will work with the National Sports Associations to "ensure that there are specific whole team strategies that would enable more coherent support to be delivered".
"In this regard, we would want to work with MINDEF to realise our aspirations for our national football teams," said SportSG.