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Fulham Kid Could Face Jail Over National Service No-Show

Fulham Kid Could Face Jail Over National Service No-Show

Singapore’s ministry of defence has declared Fulham’s Ben Davis as a national service defaulter – meaning he could face time in jail.

Responding to enquires from Channel NewsAsia, Singapore’s MINDEF said the 18-year-old “failed to report for national service as required ” and that the youngster is also “staying overseas without a valid Exit Permit”.

The government ministry outlined the offences under the Enlistment Act, which make Davis liable upon conviction to a fine of up to 10,000 dollars and/or imprisonment of up to three years.

Davis signed a two-year contract with Fulham in July last year, becoming the first Singaporean to sign a professional deal with a top-tier English club.

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The former Singapore Sports School student had joined Fulham on a two-year scholarship deal in July 2017.

His application to defer his national service (NS) enlistment was rejected by MINDEF, who said he did not “meet the criteria for long-term deferment from full-time national service”.

“As all male Singaporeans liable for full-time NS put aside personal pursuits to dutifully enlist and serve their NS, it would not be fair to approve applications for deferment for individuals to pursue their own careers and development,” MINDEF had said in a statement.

“Very few applications have been approved over the years and based on criteria which are made known to the public.

In sports, deferments are granted only to those who represent Singapore in international competitions like the Olympic Games and are potential medal winners for Singapore. In the last 15 years, only three have met this criteria.”

His father, Harvey Davis, said a deferment would have allowed his son to pursue his dream of playing in the Premier League and “make Singapore proud by being the first Singaporean to play in the EPL”.

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