• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

Irfan Fandi withdraws from Lions squad ahead of friendlies. Personal reasons or club commitments?

Mar 20, 2023

National defender Irfan Fandi has withdrawn from the Lions squad for the upcoming friendly matches against Hong Kong and Macau.

The statement posted by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) was somewhat baffling, as it stated that he was withdrawing due to “personal reasons with regards to club commitments.”

How could the defender have any club commitments given that it is the upcoming FIFA window? 

What exactly were his personal reasons with regards to club commitments? 

There was no indication of what the issue was and no further explanation was given about his sudden withdrawal.

Irfan currently plays for BG Pathum in the Thai League 1.

Perhaps a photo shared by fellow Lion Song Uiyoung on his Instagram story should provide some clues. 

The photo showed that both Ilhan Fandi and Ikhsan Fandi were in Bangkok where both Song and Irfan are at. 

Song left Lion City Sailors to join Thai League 1 side Nongbua Pitchaya at the start of the year, and an IG story prior shows that he is at a hotel in Sukhumvit.

Song was also not called up for the Lions set of friendly matches as he is recovering from an injury.

In a statement posted on the FAS website, Lions head coach Takayuki Nishigaya said, “I have complete faith in the squad that I’ve selected, hence I will not be calling for any replacement. 

“This is an opportunity for the other players to step up and stake their claim. 

“Our full focus will be on the players that are with us as we look forward to the two matches this week.”

The Lions face off against Hong Kong (23 March) and against Macau (26 March) for the set of friendly matches.


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