Ali Ashfaq (right) in a file photo. He has gone back to Maldives for national duties and should be back playing for Police in their home game against DRB Hicom on June 9. – Bernama Photo
PETALING JAYA: Premier League leaders Police will be without prized signing Ali Ashfaq from Maldives for their next few matches.
The 28-year-old prolific striker with 13 goals from 15 matches has returned home for national duties to play in the AFC Challenge Cup, which Maldives will host in Male from May 19-31.
Police coach Dollah Salleh said Ali last played in their 2-1 away win against Penang on April 18 and is expected to return early next month.
“We will manage without Ali in the next couple of matches. It is a crucial period in our Premier League title campaign but we have able replacements to carry our challenge in the competition,” said Dollah on Thursday.
Ali returned home last month to feature for Maldives in a series of friendly matches ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup. He will miss Police’s home game against UiTM FC at the MBPJ Stadium on Friday and also the away game against Perlis on May 23. Ali should be back for the home game against DRB Hicom on June 9.
Police have an equally strong finisher up front in Brazilian Charles Chad, who has 12 goals to his credit. There is also national striker Bobby Gonzales and attacking midfielder Mohamadou Sumareh of Zambia.
Table-toppers Police lead the 12-team standings with 39 points from 15 matches while second-placed Felda United trail by five points.