National and BG Pathum United defender Irfan Fandi has clarified on Instagram that it was his decision to withdraw from Lions commitments during the upcoming FIFA window.
The Singapore Lions are due to play against Hong Kong and Macau on 23 March and 26 March respectively.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had stated in a statement that the player had withdrawn from the squad “citing personal reasons with regards to club commitments.”
The statement by FAS could have also read that Irfan’s Thai League 1 club may have put pressure on him to not turn out for the Lions during this upcoming window, which could have led to intervention or sanctions by FIFA.
Irfan has since clarified in an Instagram story that it was his decision to pull out from the team.
“The decision to withdraw from this window FAS (sic) now was solely mine.”
He added that the reason for this withdrawal was to focus on returning to his full fitness.
“BG Pathum has always been supportive of FAS and my participation in my national duties.
“It was my decision to have withdrawn from this international window and not the club.”
Why the FAS said that his withdrawal was due to personal reasons due to club commitments is unknown, when it could have just said that he was withdrawing from the squad to let his body rest and recover.
Irfan’s absence will give Lion City Sailors defender Lionel Tan a chance to stake a claim in the heart of the Lions defence, given that Hariss Harun is also missing from the matches against Hong Kong and Macau.
MAIN PHOTO: EPA