Safuwan turns down T-Team offer
SINGAPORE— LionsXII stalwart Safuwan Baharudin will not be joining Malaysian Super League (MSL) side T-Team next season.
The 23-year-old defender confirmed yesterday that he has decided not to ply his trade with the Terengganu-based club despite signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them last month.
“I have decided not to go. I feel the time is not right for me to join them,” said Safuwan, who has been a mainstay in the centre of defence for the LionsXII for the past two seasons alongside Baihakki Khaizan.
The latest development was also confirmed by a T-Team spokesman who said the club realised things were not going smoothly, after failing to hear from Safuwan’s agent Halim Shukor recently.
“We sent the agent a copy of the contract that we intend to sign with Safuwan and asked him to get back to us,” said the spokesman.
“But he never did. We waited until last week, a month after we agreed on terms to bring Safuwan on board, but there has no been no further word. We take this to mean that the MoU has lapsed and that Safuwan will not be joining us.”
Safuwan had been offered a one-year contract and a monthly salary of US$10,000 (S$12,390) by T-Team, who are looking to strengthen their squad for the new season.
T-Team finished 10th in the MSL last season, just one position above the relegation zone, to avoid the drop to the Malaysian Premier League.
Although Safuwan did not confirm where he is going next, it is believed that he will be staying with the LionsXII next season, after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) offered him a new contract that was close to what T-Team was prepared to pay him.
“I will make a decision by next week,” he said.
However, it looks like his partner Baihakki will not be around next season. The latter is set to cross the Causeway to join Johor FA in the MPL next season.
Baihakki declined to comment yesterday, but a Johor Football Association source said the state football body is waiting for its President, Ismail Idris, who is also the Crown Prince of Johor, to return from an overseas trip before unveiling Baihakki at a signing ceremony.
Other LionsXII players who have been linked with moves to MSL sides include midfielders Hariss Harun and Isa Halim, and skipper-striker Shahril Ishak.