BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Selangor will very likely lose the services of Indonesian stars Evan Dimas Darmono and Ilham Udin Armaiyn in their Malaysia Super League (MSL) matches against Negeri Sembilan and Johor Darul Ta'zim, after all.
Indonesian FA (PSSI) secretary-general Ratu Tisha Destria told the Indonesian edition of Goal that the Garudas need the duo for the PSSI Anniversary Cup, which will take place in Bogor, Indonesia from April 27 to May 3; the same period during which the Red Giants will face Negeri and Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT).
"We have communicated our needs informally with the Selangor president. They understand the need for the tournament. On our part, the cup is the final test for the Indonesia national team before the Asian Games. It's not easy for us to get to play against teams such as those who are going to take part in the Anniversary Cup.
"We understand Selangor's situation, but the tournament is an important period in the national team's preparations. We cannot let them go, as we need to fully concentrate on the Asiad," said Tisha.
Indonesia wil face Uzbekistan, North Korea and Bahrain in the round robin tournament, with all the matches held at the Pakansari Stadium.
Selangor meanwhile will face Negeri at home on April 28, and play away to MSL leaders JDT on May 1, with club manager and Datuk Abdul Rauf Ahmad earlier on Sunday saying that the club are hoping that the duo will be released early from national duties in order to help Selangor play against JDT. But this seems unlikely to happen.
Evan and Ilham were absent from Selangor's training on Tuesday, as they had left for the Indonesia training camp, confirmed the Red Giants head coach Nazliazmi Nasir when met by Goal on that day.
"I hope the two of them are available for the JDT clash. We'll try (to secure their return), but logically speaking it seems that they will miss both matches," he admitted.