SINGAPORE — It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that young footballers can only dream of, and Mr Harvey Davis is not about to let the chance to play for English Premier League club Fulham FC slip by for his 17-year-old son Ben.
While he remains hopeful that Ben will be able to defer his National Service (NS) pending an appeal, he told TODAY that the family is prepared to allow him to to renounce his Singaporean citizenship in order to fulfil his footballing dreams.
Should Ben give up his citizenship, he would be eligible to play for England or Thailand according to Fifa’s rules, as Mr Davis is originally from the United Kingdom and his mother is Thai.
“I’m still hopeful that with the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) support for the appeal, and with the sentiment that the public are expressing, that will help,” said Mr Davis, who runs the JSSL Arsenal Soccer School here, on Monday (July 16).
“At the end of the day, as a parent, I have to do what is best for my son. It’s (giving up Singaporean citizenship) not something we want to consider.
“If we have no choice, and we find ourselves in that situation, I don’t think it’s a choice we will make lightly.. .either that or we have to ask our son to give up his dream.”
Ben’s case has been a hotly discussed issue among Singaporeans since it was reported last week, and an online petition to Mindef supporting his NS deferment has since drawn more than 6,200 signatures as of Monday afternoon.