- Hall 11’s former football captain pulled out of the games, citing a supposed lack of players to form a team.
- When Hall 11’s sports secretaries appealed for their team to be allowed to play, they were told that the team had been disqualified because the captain had not signed the tournament charter.
- Their appeal was put to a vote amongst all hall sports secretaries, and eventually failed.
Text by Lok Bing Hong
Photo by Eugene Goh
NTU’s Inter-Hall Games (IHG) are in full swing, but spectators may notice Hall of Residence 11’s football team missing from the field.
The football team, which came in second place when IHG was last held in 2019, was disqualified from this year’s games after its captain failed to sign the tournament charter, organisers said.
The organiser for this year’s football tournament, Hall of Residence 12 Sports Secretary Teh Min Ze, 22, told Soapbox that Hall 11’s football captain withdrew his team from the games because he lacked the players to form a full squad.
However, after he stepped down, Hall 11 was able to field a full team and appealed to rejoin the games, said Hall 11 Sports Secretary Gerald Goh, 22.
At that point, all participating captains had already signed the IHG 22/23 charter at the charter meeting for football on Oct 10, 2022. The football match fixtures had also already been determined, said Min Ze.
Charter rules explicitly state that no team can be added to the games after the conclusion of the charter meeting, IHG President Chin Yuhan, 21, told Soapbox.
Teams have to sign the charter every year to confirm their participation in the games and to agree to the tournament’s rules.
Yuhan said he and other IHG organisers had encouraged captains to sign the charter even if they did not have enough players. “That is what we emphasised at the very start,” he said.
For Hall 11 to rejoin the tournament, 75 per cent of the sports secretaries from each participating hall of residence would have to vote to approve an amendment to the charter.
The vote took place on Oct 19 in a group chat on the messaging platform Telegram. Sports secretaries were given five minutes to submit their votes.
Hall 11’s appeal ultimately failed, with 67 per cent of secretaries voting in favour of Hall 11’s team being allowed back into the tournament, and 32 per cent voting against, according to a screenshot seen by Soapbox.
Gerald told Soapbox that his hall’s football team and new captain were disappointed with the results.
“We even had a goalkeeper that plays for an outside club. I had expected that we would succeed and didn’t anticipate that the vote wouldn’t go through,” Gerald said.
Gerald said that the Hall 11 Sports Secretaries were only told that their hall pulled out of football after the charter meeting was over.
“With all the red tape it is difficult for teams to focus on having fun. I just hope the team can learn from this and move on with no hard feelings,” he said.
Hall 11’s former captain and members of the Hall 11 football team declined to respond to Soapbox’s requests for comment.
Sports secretaries from other halls had mixed sentiments toward Hall 11’s bid
One of the sports secretaries who voted against Hall 11’s appeal said that making a last-minute bid to rejoin the tournament was unfair to other teams.
“I think we should take into account the people who took their time and took the necessary steps to attend the charter meeting,” they said, agreeing to speak on condition of anonymity.
“While we would want everyone to be given a chance to participate, if you are not responsible enough to inform anyone of your absence and can’t get anyone to attend the charter meeting, then the results are justifiable,” the sports secretary said.
Hall of Residence 9’s Sports Secretary, Morgan Mun, 24, said he voted to allow Hall 11 back into the tournament because he believed everyone deserves a chance at playing in IHG and that it would make the competition more interesting.
Hall of Residence 5’s Sports Secretary, Tubao Mary Chiariel Reosura, 20, who also voted in support of Hall 11’s bid, felt its former captain made a minor mistake and that a quick fix would have allowed the Hall 11 football squad to play despite the tight timeline.
“I just feel that we shouldn’t deny people from playing where possible, especially since covid stopped the games for two years, so it would be nice to let whoever wants to play, play,” she said.