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NST Online: Sports

FAS: No Safee, no problem

Posted: 18 Jan 2011 09:08 AM PST

By Ajitpal Singh

 The    Selangor Super League team train  in their new kit after its unveiling     at Shah Alam Stadium yesterday. —  Picture by Osman Adnan

The Selangor Super League team train in their new kit after its unveiling at Shah Alam Stadium yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan

SELANGOR will not miss striker Safee Sali if he decides to leave the team for an Indonesian club.

Safee, after his exploits in last month's Suzuki Cup, has received attractive offers from four Indonesia Super League sides, including Persib Bandung, Pelita Jaya and Persiba Balikpapan.

The 26-year-old wants to try his luck abroad for at least one season.

FA of Selangor (FAS) general secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said Safee is interested in an offer from one of these clubs but negotiations are ongoing.

"Safee has picked a club he wants to join as they have offered him an attractive package.

"They have given him three contract options, either for six months, a year or one-and-a-half years," said Hamidin after the unveiling of the Selangor team jersey for the new season at Shah Alam Stadium yesterday.

"All four clubs want Safee at any cost and they have even offered compensation to Selangor if he leaves.

" I will bring it up in the FAS exco meeting soon."

If Safee leaves Selangor, he will do so by early next month for the second stage of the Indonesia Super League.

This means Safee's farewell match for Selangor will be against Kelantan in the Charity Shield on Jan 29.

However, manager-cum-coach K. Devan believes that Selangor, if Safee decides to leave, would still be a force in the Super League.

"We are prepared for it as we have new signings with offensive qualities. All of our six new players have blended in nicely with our regulars," said Devan yesterday.

"We have a good mixture of players including six from the national team's AFF Cup-winning squad, who can take us far in all competitions."

Selangor's new signings are former PKNS goalkeeper Saiful Amar Pudar, Yosri Dermaraju, Fadzli Shaari, Azidan Sarudin, S. Sritharan and K. Depan Sakwati.

"Fadzli, Sritharan and Azidan are our three new offensive players.

"Besides them we have our regulars -- Rudie Ramli, Amirulhadi Zainal and Amri Yahyah who are all goal scorers," said Devan.

However, Azidan could be suspended or fined heavily for signing with Selangor as his former club Kuala Lumpur have filed a complaint with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) claiming that their former captain had breached a clause in his contract by joining Selangor.

FAM Players' Status committee will decide on the issue on Jan 26.

As for Selangor's target this season, they want to end their six-year Malaysia Cup drought and also retain their Super League title for the third consecutive time.

"The Malaysia Cup is our main target as we have not won it for a long time. Of course, the Super League and the FA Cup are also important," added Devan.

FAS has also increased the ticket price from RM10 to RM15 this season due to rising costs of managing their team but the association is confident it will not affect attendances for home matches.

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Balotelli: Mourinho needs to learn respect

Posted: 18 Jan 2011 07:36 AM PST

ROME: Jose Mourinho is impolite and disrespectful according to his former player Mario Balotelli.

Speaking in a new sports pull-out in yesterday's Gazzetta dello Sport called Extra Time, Manchester City striker Balotelli hits out at the Real Madrid coach.

The pair were at Inter Milan in the previous two seasons but fell out on several occasions, usually over Balotelli's attitude.

Mourinho even once banished him from the first team picture for seven matches but Inter finished the season with an unprecedented treble in Italian football, although with Balotelli mostly warming the bench.

"Mourinho is the best coach in the world but as a man he has a lot to learn about politeness and respect," said the 20-year-old who expressed his preference for his current coach Roberto Mancini, whom he also worked under at Inter before Mourinho joined.

"He's the most important coach I've had. Soon he'll be the best in the world," he added.

"As a man he's 10km ahead of Mourinho."

Balotelli, who has never been shy about blowing his own trumpet, last month after winning a best Young Player in the World award, claimed he was better than everyone except Lionel Messi.

He also hit out at AC Milan president and Italy Prime Minister for having described Antonio Cassano as the best talent in Italy.

"Either Berlusconi's made a mistake or he doesn't know Balotelli very well," he said.

And Balotelli also hit out at the English press, who earlier this month reported that he had cheated on glamour model girlfriend Sophie Reade with her best friend Faye-Evette Betts.

"English football is as far ahead in the stands as it is behind in its newspapers," he said.

"All I can say about Sophie is that I saw her once and then she started hassling me with messages while one of her friends is much more interesting."

Balotelli, who reportedly had a scrap with teammate Jerome Boateng earlier this season described City's Adam Johnson as having great technique and Emmanuel Adebayor as being the most fun.

He also described AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic as being from another planet and said former teammate Wesley Sneijder and not Messi should have won the Ballon D'Or.

And in a final slap in the face, he targeted his former team, saying he hoped Napoli and not Inter would win Serie A.

"Instinctively I'd say Milan, if I think about it a bit I'd say, but Inter gave me a lot.

"If I keep thinking then I'd decide, I hope Napoli win, I'd like to play with (Edinson) Cavani." -- AFP

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