S.League: Sevki waits for good news



SINGAPORE - He has been anxiously waiting for over a month.

But former national defender Sevki Sha'ban still hasn't received an answer from the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) Player Status Committee (PSC) over his appeal, after he was sacked by Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League giants Home United.

Responding to queries from The New Paper, an FAS spokesman said the PSC had yet to decide on the outcome.

It has been a tough 18 months for Sevki, who has represented Singapore seven times.

He picked up an anterior cruciate injury in October 2012 which ruled him out of the Lions' triumphant AFF Suzuki Cup campaign two months later.

After leaving the LionsXII, he signed a two-year contract with Home before the start of the 2013 S.League season, and made 14 appearances for the Protectors last year, including the RHB Singapore Cup final when they defeated Tanjong Pagar 4-1.

But he has since fallen down the pecking order at Home and according to sources, he was even asked to sit out training sessions by coach Lee Lim Saeng just before his contract was terminated.

When the S.League's mid-season window opened on June 2, he was told by Home that he was free to leave, but it is believed that the defender was unwilling to take a significant pay-cut to join Hougang.


Said Sevki: "It has been difficult waiting so long and keeping fit, but not knowing when the outcome will come.

"I have had people offering me help to go to (world football governing body) Fifa to claim the compensation I feel Home owe me, but I believe that is a last resort and I hope FAS can settle the case soon."

On July 14, the Protectors terminated Sevki's contract without any compensation for "underperformance and unsatisfactory work".

But Sevki took issue with Home's reasons, insisting he had not been given the chance to play even a minute of football this season.

The 30-year-old has been training with another S.League club, Geylang International, for most of the past month to keep fit, but has been unable to register himself as a player with the Bedok-based team as the league's transfer window closed on June 27.

He hopes the PSC will rule in his favour, and make an exception and allow him to sign for Geylang outside the transfer window.

There appears to be a glimmer of hope for Sevki.

In June, Hougang United terminated the contract of Croatian defender Durica Zuparic without compensation, as they sought to replace him with Brazilian Igor Ferreira.

Zuparic appealed and the PSC duly ruled in his favour, ordering Hougang to pay the former Croatia youth international compensation.

Hougang general manager Nicholas Low confirmed the club had to compensate Zuparic, but declined to reveal more details.

"Considering Sevki's case is not completed yet, I would rather not say anything that could influence it," he said.

A source close to Zuparic's case, however, told The New Paper that Hougang were made to pay the remainder of the player's contract, or six months' salary.

The precedent has given Sevki hope.

He said: "The Hougang defender's case has given me encouragement that the PSC will hopefully also rule for me."

This article was first published on August 26, 2014.
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