So, if you’ve forgotten about the Ben Davis’s case in all the excitement of the past weeks, there are some updates to his case.
And to be honest, it’s not looking too good.
First, A Bit Of Context To Get You All Caught Up
Ben Davis is a 17-year-old Singaporean who’s born to a Thai mother and British father.
He signed a two-year scholarship with England football club Fulham FC last year and a professional contract with them in June this year.
Fulham won the EFL Championship Play-off Final about two months ago and therefore would be promoted to the English Premier League.
Tried to Defer but Failed
Ben Davis’ deferment was rejected on June as Mindef said it did not meet the criteria. For deferments for sports, it is only granted for “athletes who compete in international competitions such as the Olympic Games, and are potential medal winners for Singapore.”
Ben Davis’s father, the Football Association of Singapore and even common Singaporeans have tried to get Mindef to change their mind.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
And so, fast forward a couple of months and Mindef gave a concrete explanation in front of the Parliament.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen Gives Three Reasons Why Mindef Wouldn’t Approve Ben Davis’ Deferment
According to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Mindef cannot see how Ben Davis playing in the English Premier League will help Singapore football.
He gives three reasons why the Minsitry of Defence (Mindef) rejected Ben Davis’s NS Deferment application.
1: Ben Davis Isn’t Playing For Fulham FC as a Singaporean
Ben Davis is listed as Fulham’s first scholar from Singapore on his profile on the Fulham FC’s website.
However, the nationality on the site listed Ben Davis’s nationality as English, instead of Singaporean.
Dr Ng said that Mindef doesn’t know the terms and conditions of Ben Davis’s contract with Fulham. However, they will assume that the information published on the website is correct.
2: Ben Davis’s Father Refuses To Commit To A Date of Return For His Son
According to Dr Ng, Ben Davis’s father has refused, time and again, to commit to a date in which his son will return to Singapore to serve his NS.
He claimed that there are too many variables for him.
Ben Davis could be offered another two-year pro contract in 2019, like what happened during his scholarship.
He could be loaned or sold to other football clubs depending on his development.
3: Ben Davis’s professional and career interests come first and everything else, secondary
The minister of defence claimed that Ben Davis’s father had made it clear that his son’s success and professional development comes first.
And everything else second.
He said that even with Mindef’s rejection of the application, Ben Davis went ahead with signing the contract offered by Fulham.
And with regards to Davis’s claim that his son’s participation in the EPL will help inspire the thousands of students in Junior Soccer School and League (JSSL), half of which are locals, Dr Ng merely pointed out that JSSL is a company owned by Ben Davis’s father.
He ends off his explanation by proclaiming, gravely, that Mindef could not find any grounds to approve the application.
To do otherwise would simply be unfair to other people who had to serve NS and put aside their personal development.
You can watch his full explanation below:
So, unless something changes, it’s highly likely that Mindef will not change their position on the ruling of Ben Davis’s NS deferment application.
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