Press Releases ● Jul 30, 2018

FAS’ media statement on inaccurate information on an incident involving referee in ICC 2018 match


On Sunday 29 June, a media report was published online on that FAS and FIFA referee Nathan Chan Rong De requested Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil’s autograph before the International Champions Cup match between Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday 28 July 2018.


This is absolutely inaccurate. Nathan was not the match official concerned. The correct identity of the match official concerned is Edwin Lee Tzu Liang, the Assistant Referee 2 for the match.


It is unfortunate that the inaccuracy was reflected in the article on, as well as in several other media outlets without verification of the match officials’ identity with us. The FAS has demanded that the relevant agencies correct the inaccuracy.


The FAS Referees Department and representatives from the Referees Committee have reviewed the match footage and found that there have been no compromise of integrity in the course of the match. On the request for Ozil’s autograph, the FAS has investigated the matter and will be taking appropriate action in relation to the match official.


While the FAS appreciates the dedication and hard work that match officials put in off and on the pitch, we also expect all our match officials to behave in a professional manner befitting of the important role they play in the game.


Please also see below a statement from Edwin:


“I was one of the two Assistant Referees appointed to the International Champions Cup match between Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain held in Singapore on 28 July 2018.


“Prior before the match kick-off at the players’ tunnel, I approached Arsenal player Mesut Ozil for an autograph at a spur-of-the-moment. It was an unprofessional decision on my part. There were no other intentions behind my request, and it had in no way affected the way I officiated the match.


“It is regretful that my fellow match official Nathan Chan was wrongly named in media articles. He has had to field queries and address unfair accusations from family, friends and the football fraternity on the incident, and as a result, his integrity has been damaged and this episode has greatly affected him. It is unfortunate that my actions have resulted in unnecessary negative publicity for Nathan and also affected the integrity of match officials in Singapore.


“As a senior referee, I should have been more conscious of the consequences of my actions to set a good example for the younger and junior referees. I would like to offer my sincere apologies for the incident and will be reflecting on my actions.”