In Singapore, a tug of war -- over tug of war

Two rival groups are straining to be declared Singapore's official body for tug of war, a report said Wednesday, in a tangled tale heaving with controversy.

On one side, the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) says it runs the sport and its role is recognised by the sport's world governing body.

But pulling in the other direction is the Tug of War Federation of Singapore, which claims backing from the Asian Tug of War Federation, the Straits Times reported.

Roped into the argument is the Singapore Sports Council (SSC), which has the authority to recognise one side or the other but says the island state currently has no official body representing the sport.

According to the Straits Times, tug of war was under the ambit of the SAA until 2009, when its tug-of-war sub-committee detached from the athletics body to form the separate Tug of War Federation.

But the SAA's current president, Tang Weng Fei, is planning to change the body's constitution to include tug of war.

The situation has created confusion for the sport's 100 or so participants, who would perhaps prefer it if the warring officials pulled themselves together.

"There have been enquiries from members of the public on why there are two bodies running the sport," Tug of War Federation of Singapore president S. Govindaraju was quoted as saying.

"They're confused as to who is the recognised governing body in Singapore."