JOHOR BARU: It's all over between Sabah and their new signing, goalkeeper Zaidi Hanifa. The Sabah FA (Safa) have referred the wayward player to the FA of Malaysia's (FAM) Players Status Committee (PSC).
Zaidi's footballing ties with Sabah have come to an end without him even kicking a ball for the Rhinos.
The former-third choice goalkeeper with Kuala Lumpur Malay Mail disappeared without news less than two weeks after signing a one-year contract with Sabah early last month.
Safa issued him a show cause letter. When Zaidi finally replied, Safa were left fuming. He claimed that he had no money to return to Kota Kinabalu.
“The reason does not carry weight,” Safa executive secretary Harry Baking said from Kota Kinabalu, adding that Safa believed that it was best for the PSC to decide on Zaidi's case.
“Safa will respect whatever decision the PSC take on Zaidi. Right now, Zaidi is not on our payroll. We are very disappointed with the unprofessional attitude of the player.”
Sabah have recruited local Asmawi Tair as Zaidi's replacement while former international Khairul Azman Mohamad remains the number one. Khairul played a big role in helping Sabah finish third in the Premier I league and runners-up to Selangor in the Malaysia Cup.
After two matches in the league, the Rhinos are unbeaten. They drew 3-3 with Sarawak in Kuching and beat Kelantan 2-1 at home. In the FA Cup, Sabah are in round two after a first-round bye.