Lions defensive stalwart Safuwan to miss upcoming Myanmar game
Safuwan Baharudin has pulled out of the Lions squad in Bishkek and returned to the Republic because of an "urgent family matter", the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced in a media statement on Monday (June 13).
As a result, he will miss the team's final Asian Cup 2023 qualification match against Myanmar on Tuesday.
However, Singapore are already out of the running for the tournament, which will be held in June next year, after losses to group hosts Kyrgyzstan (2-1) last Wednesday and then Tajikistan (1-0) three days later.
Safuwan, 30, played in each of the two games, collecting his 107th and 108th international cap respectively.
Said the FAS: "Safuwan had informed head coach Takayuki Nishigaya of his situation ahead of last Saturday's... match against Tajikistan."
It added that the defender has "the complete backing" of the coach, who is searching for his first win since being appointed in April.
"Some things in life are more important than football and Safuwan has my full support regarding his decision to return home," said the Japanese.
"I wish to make it clear that even as he was dealing with this matter, Safuwan has remained exemplary in his conduct and displayed complete professionalism during this international window."
The FAS declined to reveal the exact reason for Safuwan's withdrawal, and added that the player requested for privacy regarding the matter.