Following the claim from Indonesian Premier League side Persema Malang on Friday that Irfan Bachdim was still under contract with the club, the winger’s brother has come out to say that it is ‘100% true that Irfan is a free transfer player’.
Fardy Bachdim, who also works as his brother’s agent, has told Goal.com Thailand in an exclusive interview that Irfan’s transfer to Thai Premier League club Chonburi FC cannot be stopped by Persema.
"I'm very surprised that Persema's CEO [Didied Poernawan Affandy)] said that he [Irfan] still has a contract with them until 2014 because he hasn't been paid for eight months and they still [dare to] consider it a contract?" he stated.
"In FIFA rules, when a player hasn't been paid for 90 days, that player will be considered as a free agent. From today (February 2), it will be eight months [since Irfan has not been paid]. I am working in this field with FIFA as an agent, and it's 100% true that Irfan is a free transfer player."
Fardy goes on to claim that they are ready to hire a lawyer to put forward a case to FIFA after consulting with FIFPRO, although that would be a ‘last resort’ as they would prefer to settle the matter ‘in peace’.
"FIFPRO [has] said this case is obvious," he explained.
"When the verdict comes in two weeks, Chonburi FC will receive the International Transfer Certificate directly from FIFA [and we will have] nothing to do with Persema anymore."
He also added that Chonburi was ‘one of the most professional’ clubs they had dealt with in terms of players being approached.
"I feel sad for the situation,” Fardy lamented.
“It's such a bad way to use your authority. That's what happens in Indonesian football. My brother and I vowed to be the liberators [so as] to end this problem for Indonesian players.
“We work with FIFA and FIFPRO. We know what the players’ rights [are]. From now on, Indonesian players will stand and fight with the exploitation, and they will have full freedom to play overseas."
Meanwhile, Irfan himself took to Twitter to express his feelings over the protracted transfer saga, claiming that Persema was ‘doing everything' to ruin his career and that he tolerated not being paid for eight months because of his ‘love’ for football.
“I try to do everything for Indonesian football,” he tweeted. “Tomorrow i will leave for Dubai to fight for our country! I choose to go to Thailand to improve myself. Persema is not working with me to finish my transfer.
“Now, I have to make a statement that I can’t play anymore without getting money. Me and my family need to eat. If Persema wanna ruin my career, it’s hard to improve [and] to give my best for Indonesia.
“The FIFA rules say after 3 months [of] not getting your salary, your transfer [is] free!! That’s why I approached Chonburi FC, because I think that will be the best step for me to improve myself!
“I made a good choice to ask Chonburi FC if I can make a trial there and I proved myself to earn a spot in their selection.”