Saturday, 7 January 2012

Safee Sali may play in Singapore if Indonesian league is banned

Safee Sali has more than one way out of the mess that Indonesian football is in.

After a stint in Singapore with Young Tigers A, he can play in the S-League.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) is also considering allowing Safee to return to the M-League but this move is fraught with difficulty as the transfer window has closed.

Safee, 28, whose contract with Pelita Jaya ends on Jan 31, has not decided on his next move after being offered a three-year contract extension by his club.

But to remain with Pelita would throw Safee's international future into doubt as the threat of a ban by Fifa hangs over the rebel Indonesia Super League (ISL) in which Safee's club plays in.

Indonesian football is split between the official Liga Premier Indonesia (LPI) and ISL, which saw its roles reversed from last year after officials from the then-unofficial LPI took over the running of the Indonesian FA (PSSI).

Fifa has given PSSI until March 20 to sort out the mess, failing which all players, coaches and officials from ISL will be banned from international football.

FAM competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Amin suggested on Wednesday that Safee return to play in Malaysia by making an exception in the transfer regulations.

But this move could create an unwanted precedent which would leave FAM exposed to accusations of favouritism.

As the Malaysian transfer window opens only in April, Safee could temporarily join Young Tigers A in the S-League while deciding the next course of action.

The Tigers have one vacancy on their roster after naming 29 players for their S-League campaign and coach Ong Kim Swee will gladly welcome the experience that Safee will provide to the younger players.

“It’s a good idea. I have no objections if Safee wants to join us. We can easily fit him into the team and he will get to play football while he thinks of his next move.

“It would be a great boost to have someone of Safee’s calibre playing with the team,” said Kim Swee.

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