BY NIK AFIQ Follow on Twitter
The president of the Johor Football Association, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ), has released a statement revealing why Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) released two import players, Argentinian Pablo Aimar and Singaporean Baihakki Khaizan.
The news broke recently and has shocked Malaysian football, and in his statement TMJ revealed that the decision was made by former head coach, Cesar Ferrando Jimenez, before Cesar himself was replaced by Bojan Hodak.
Quoted from Bernama, TMJ said “The decision to replace Baihakki and Aimar was a decision made by Cesar and me when he was still our head coach. For Baihakki, he is a good defender but in order for us to compete with foreign strikers, we need someone who has more international experience. Meanwhile for Aimar, he has not fully recovered from his injury and (was) unable to contribute 100% to the team.”
TMJ also stated that Cesar suggested that JDT should find a defender with greater physical ability, and was left frustrated by the huge investment made in foreign players, but was only able to field two in most matches.
“The coach has suggested to the management to get new players who can play full 90 minutes, and with the current situation, we were not able to maximise our investments so it is important for us to play with three foreign players all the time,” he added.
In the statement, TMJ also explained that the reason Cesar was axed from his position is because of the language barrier, as the Spaniard were not able to communicate in good English with the players. However, Cesar will remain at JDT to assist Bojan Hodak and guide the younger players.
In other news, JDT are said to be closing in on Brazilian Marcos Antonio Elias Santos, a defender who has played in Germany, Portugal and France.