Syahmi Safari

KUALA LUMPUR: The FA of Selangor (FAS) have decided not to release midfielder Syahmi Safari for the national youth team’s centralised training which starts on Sunday.

The decision will definitely force national youth coach Ong Kim Swee to make adjustments for the AFF Under-22 Championship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Feb 17-26.

Selangor coach B. Sathianathan said the club cannot afford to release Syahmi as he is a regular.

Syahmi, who has just recovered from a hamstring injury, is expected to start against PJ City FC in Saturday’s Super League match at the MBPJ Stadium.

The national player was a second half substitute in last week’s 1-1 draw against Felda United at the Shah Alam Stadium.

“We collectively made the decision not to release Syahmi. It is also too risky as he has just recovered from an injury.

“I need his services as our opening match did not go as planned. We cannot afford to drop points in the opening rounds of the Super League, so I need my best players to be available.

“Kim Swee has been informed about our decision,” said Sathianathan yesterday.

Syahmi, who has a release clause of RM6 million, was part of the national team that reached the final of last year’s AFF Cup.