Ex-Singapore striker Indra Sahdan: 'I wouldn't encourage 11-yr-old son to play football'

Indra has been told by the club that he will not be paid the final month's salary.

Indra Sahdan
File photo of ex-Singapore striker Indra Sahdan (R) Reuters

Former Singapore striker Indra Sahdan lamented S.League's inability to draw large crowds saying that the quality of the top-tier football league in the country is on the wane.

Indra, who was part of the inaugural edition of the S.League in 1996, has decided to hang his boots after a 12-month stint with Geylang International in the 2016 season. The 37-year-old, who had scored 31 goals in 113 appearances for the Lions, has been reportedly told by the club that he will not be paid the final month's salary.

Geylang were not happy with Indra missing training sessions in the recently concluded season and thus were forced to dock his salary, according to the report.

While remaining optimistic that he would be able to "talk things over" with the club's "reasonable" chairman, the striker expressed disappointment at the manner of his exit from the league after spending 20 years.

Notably, Indra came out of retirement to play for Tampines Rovers in the 2015 season. He switched to Geylang ahead of the 2016 edition, in which the Eagles came close to winning an AFC Cup berth before conceding it to Home United.

Indra, who won an S.League and three Singapore Cups during his stint with Home, said the league started losing traction after the first six editions and that it has never been able to recover since then.

"My son is 11 now. If he wants to play football, I will tell him to study first. It is too difficult to have a stable career in the S-League now," Indra was quoted as saying by the Straits Times.

"The league started so well. There were good crowds and we had good-quality foreigners. But after six or seven years, it all went south and nothing has changed since then.

"In a way, I feel very sad, too. I never thought I would go out like that after 20 years [in S.League]."

Apart from Indra, 30-year-old Argentinian Carlos Delgado will also not be getting his final month's payment. It is also reported that the Geylang management is concerned about their full-time players losing focus due to their involvement in off-field activities like driving cabs.