Singapore’s Irfan Fandi reveals reasons for rejecting Braga offer

Singapore youngster Irfan Fandi revealed the reasons behind him turning down a contract offer from Portuguese club Sporting Braga.

The eldest son of Singapore national team coach Fandi Ahmad was offered a “two plus two” deal to play for Braga in Portugal, but rejected the offer on Monday.

Irfan would have been the first Singaporean to play in Portugal had he accepted the deal but the 21-year-old cited two main reasons for turning it down.

“It’s a really long contract and they had a clause where if I were to leave in the two years before the ‘two plus two’ starts, I will have to pay a 15 million euros or dollars penalty,” Irfan told Channel News Asia on Monday.

“Who knows in the two years I could get homesick or something could happen to me and we’re stuck with the 15 million fine.”

He went on to explain that his two-week trial last month with Braga went very well on the pitch, but it was a different matter off it.

“It wasn’t the best trip for me, other than football,” he added. “Football was great, it was fun. But I just felt really alone, really bored a lot of the time. If my family was there it would have been a different case, but I was alone and it was really hard for me.”

While he may have turned down a golden opportunity to ply his trade in Europe, Irfan went on to reveal that he already has a few offers to play overseas next season and will make a decision at the end of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.

He said: “I have two offers from Chile, and in the region, I have a few as well. So it’s not over for me. You know as they say when one door closes a new door opens. I’ll take it positively and work towards it.”

Irfan will now remain with the Young Lions to complete the Singapore Premier League season before preparing for the Suzuki Cup with the Singapore national team.