OKS: Do not blame Gary

Datuk Ong Kim Swee hopes Gary Steven Robbat will not be punished regardless of the Football Association of Malaysia’s decision.

The 22-year-old Malaysia midfielder has recently been embroiled in a transfer saga involving Johor Darul Ta’zim, Pahang and Kedah, with each of them claiming that they own the player’s registration.

Both 2014 Malaysia Cup finalists claimed that Robbat signed for them, while Kedah, being his home state, have always had a right of first refusal on him.

As stipulated by the FAM, all Harimau Muda players must return to their respective home state teams once they leave the national set-up.

However, despite the matter not being settled, Robbat has allied with the Southern Tigers, being present at their official kits launch and travelling to Australia for their preseason tour.

When quizzed on the matter, Ong urged the clubs to settle the issue professionally without jeopardising Robbat’s career.

"I do not blame Gary for what happened,” he said.

“He is a nice boy and the clubs have to talk to each other about the situation.

“If anything, I hope he does not get punished with suspension because it will be a great loss for the league and the national team.

“However, after the contract issues have been settled, I hope he and other players will learn from it.”

Ong also commented on D. Saarvindran, another former charge that joined Pahang at the end of last year.

“Like all the players that have left the Harimau Muda, he has to fight for his place at Pahang.

"The [former Harimau Muda] players may have had it easy when they were with the Harimau Muda, but it is a totally different game when they play in the league with their new teams because they have to fight for their places with the local and foreign players.

“Sometimes you cannot blame the coach for not selecting certain players, so the players themselves must step up their game and work really hard to get their places.”

(Picture: asiana.my)