SINGAPORE: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Friday (Dec 1) that general secretary Winston Lee will be stepping down from his position after 18 years in the organisation and almost 10 years as general secretary.
He will leave the organisation on Dec 31 this year.
“It has been 18 years since I joined the FAS and I had earlier in the year decided that it was time for me to commence the next chapter of my life journey," said Mr Lee in an FAS press release.
"I was humbled by President Lim Kia Tong's request for me to stay on and support the new council, and I agreed," he said. "Following the conclusion of the season and also in view of the fact that the council has finalised a good set of plans which will bring football to the next level, I decided it is timely to spend more time with my ageing mother and start the next chapter of my life.
"However, I have promised President Lim that I will continue to contribute to local football in any way possible."
He thanked Mr Lim and other council members for their "support and confidence in me", as well as fans, players and colleagues.
“Looking ahead, I am confident that the exco (executive council) and council will achieve success in implementing the various new plans for Singapore football," he said. "It will take some time before the results of these plans are visible and I hope all stakeholders and fans will fully support the council throughout the journey."
The FAS said in its press release that it wished to place on record its "deep gratitude" for Mr Lee's "years of loyal service, during which he led football to significant changes".
Yazeen Buhari, the current deputy general secretary of the FAS will assume the responsibilities of the general secretary as acting general secretary, it added.
"A deliberate search process encompassing internal and external candidates will ensue before a permanent appointment is announced," the organisation said. "At the same time, the FAS will also commence a search for a deputy general secretary (competitions)."
Mr Lim also expressed "sincere appreciation and gratitude" to Mr Lee on behalf of the football community for his "unwavering commitment and accomplishments".
"We wish Winston well in his new endeavours and we will explore ways to utilise his expertise and experience which will only strengthen our ongoing journey towards becoming a strong football nation," he said.
Mr Lee's resignation comes at the end of a dramatic year for the association, which saw its headquarters raided in April about a week before the association's first-ever elections.