Sunday, February 27, 2011


FAS Statement

SINGAPORE, 27 February 2011: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) notes that Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan have made known through our media their decision to play for Medan Chiefs in the Indonesian Premier League (LPI).

Mr Zainudin Nordin, President, Football Association of Singapore, said: "FAS is proud of all Singaporean footballers who have achieved the high standards of play and professional recognition which bring to them commercially rewarding engagements by professional clubs in other countries. We encourage all our professional footballers to strive for such recognition and benefits.

FAS also recognizes that professional footballers have a short career span, coupled with the risk of suffering sudden career-ending injuries. Hence, when the opportunity for more rewarding engagements arises, footballers have to consider them seriously, for their own and their families' well-being. Most of the time, there is little conflict between the immediate benefits which these opportunities bring and the possible long-term drawbacks.

However, the situation for Shahril and Baihakki belongs to that smaller percentage where realising the immediate benefits come with the risk of possible long-term drawbacks which can be significant for a professional player. Both players have opted to play in a League which is not sanctioned by the country's football association. Depending on Fifa’s ruling on the issue, Shahril and Baihakki may find themselves disqualified from playing for Singapore and possibly Fifa-sanctioned Leagues for a significant period of time.

FAS knows both players to be mature individuals and experienced football professionals who are capable of undertaking the risk-benefit assessment before making a decision in their best interests. It would have been an ideal situation if the high salaries are paid by a club properly sanctioned by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).

We extend our sincere well wishes to both Shahril and Baihakki."

COMMENT - nicely non committal. Both players are on the bench today against Real Mataram

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