Safuwan Baharudin’s exclusion from Singapore national coach Takayuki Nishigaya’s list for the upcoming FIFA window has raised questions about whether the player is in indeed fit to continue playing.
31-year-old Safuwan has had multiple head injuries over the course of his playing career over the last eight years.
A spokesman for the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) told the Straits Times, “To be considered for national team selection, all of our national players should have a clean bill of health or have been cleared by our medical team in the event that they were recovering from a long-term injury.”
The FAS decision is a right one and why Safuwan continues to play having not passed a fitness test with the FAS remains a mystery.
Safuwan signed with Malaysia Super League side Negri Sembilan for the 2023 season, and his new employers told the Straits Times that they had done their due diligence before signing him.
“I can’t comment on the FAS’ decision but, as far as we are concerned, we have done all necessary medical checks,” said the chief executive Satwant Singh.
Satwant also added that Safuwan was taking the necessary precautions and “wearing a helmet.”
Over the last eight years, Safuwan has suffered multiple head injuries in the course of his playing career.
In 2015, he suffered a head injury while playing for Melbourne City and then had another knock during a Lions match against Cambodia in 2016.
In May 2021 during a Malaysian Super League match against PJ City, he had a cerebral concussion after a collision with another player.
In June 2022, he was diagnosed with “mild traumatic brain injury” after a knock in a match against Sabah while playing for Selangor, and this led to the player taking a break from any football activity.
He was left out of the Lions squad for the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation Mitsubishi Electric Cup.
MAIN PHOTO: NEGERI SEMBILAN