Johor FC say no to jailbird


JOHOR BARU: Premier League club Johor FC have called off their deal with former Australian international Mirko Jurilj (pic), who was jailed for five months in January 2001 for match-fixing in Singapore. 

The 30-year-old Jurilj, whose last club was Paramatta Eagles in the Australian League, had signed letters of intent to play for Johor FC together with two other Australians – striker Zeljko Sean Babic, 27 and defender Ante Milicic, 29, both of Sydney United. 

MIRKO JURILJ:Has signedletter of intent to don JohorFC colours.

However, Johor FC secretary Tahir Hamdan said yesterday that the deal with Jurilj was called off after they were advised not to hire the Australian, who was convicted together with his German flatmate, Lutz Pfannenstiel for match-fixing. 

The German, who was playing for Geylang United in the S-League, was also jailed for five months. 

Jurilj was found guilty of match-fixing while playing for Sembawang FC. He was also slapped a life ban by the FA of Singapore (FAS) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). 

However, FIFA did not support the call by the FAS and the AFC. Jurilj, who was released from prison after serving 100 days, went back to Australia to pursue his football career. 

“Johor FC took into consideration the views and comments made by various parties, including the FAM, on Jurilj,” said Tahir. 

“In the interest of all parties, we have decided not to hire Jurilj. We have informed the player on the latest development and he has accepted it.” 

Jurilj is no newcomer to Johor FC. He played for them in 1995 and 1996 and Johor FC won the FAM Cup twice in a row under coach Raul Carizo. 

It is learnt that Carizo, who is back with Johor FC as their new chief coach after an eight-year absence, wanted Jurilj in the team for the challenge in the second flight Premier League.