Hassan: LionsXII decision will affect Singapore national team

Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny believes the decision to oust LionsXII from Malaysian football could have a significant impact on the national team.

The Football Association of Malaysia executive committed voted unanimously on Tuesday night to expel the Singapore-based club from the Malaysia Super League (MSL).

It’s a decision that could have major repercussions for Singaporean football, with the country’s best talent currently without a team.

I just hope any decision made by FAS will be beneficial for the LionsXII players

The vast majority of the Singapore national squad is made up of members of LionsXII.

Hassan, who plies his trade with Army United in the Thai Premier League, has expressed his concerns over how the decision could impact his national teammates.

“It will affect the national team,” Hassan told FourFourTwo. “Ninety-five per cent of the players in the national team are from LionsXII.

“Hopefully they will get a club as soon as possible.”

Commencing his career with Geylang United back in 2003, Hassan also made stops with the Young Lions, Tampines Rovers and the Warriors, winning the S.League player of the year award in 2014.

He then earned a prized move overseas, joining Army United ahead of the 2015 campaign, where he starred in his first season, earning a two-year contract extension earlier this month.

The 31-year-old has 80 caps for his country, although he has fallen behind Izwan Mahbud in the Singaporean pecking order under current coach Bernd Stange.

Hassan in action for Army United

FFT asked Hassan if LionsXII players should now follow his lead and explore their options overseas.

“Yes, I think they should go,” he said. “But I’m not sure whether the clubs there want our players.

“I think maybe only Safuwan (Baharudin) can make it. Hopefully he can go somewhere. Perhaps Thailand.

“Hopefully for the rest, Malaysian clubs can take them in.”

The Football Association of Singapore are yet to comment publicly on the decision by their Malaysian counterparts.

“I’m not sure what FAS is planning for (the players) after this,” Hassan said.

“I just hope any decision made by FAS will be beneficial for the LionsXII players.”

Additional reporting by Kritikorn Thanamahamongkhol

Main photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo