BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Selangor secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon is adamant that new signing Safuwan Baharudin meant no harm with his now-infamous Instagram post.
Two weeks ago, the Singapore midfielder posted an Instagram story of him making a reference to Malaysian powerhouse JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, with the caption "Just pure love, like the real boss." He also tagged the JDT owner's account.
"Here's to the real boss" - Safuwan Baharudin pic.twitter.com/rBljM5PW7P— Bozos (@mhdsharif_) February 10, 2020
Selangor fans were predictably outraged over the midfielder's insensitive post, leaving comments that questioned his commitment to the club on his Instagram photos.
He would issue an apology on his account a day afterwards, but when met by Goal later after playing in a friendly match, the midfielder declined to answer our questions regarding the matter.
But according to Johan, Safuwan's gaffe was simply an honest mistake committed made by a player who was not aware of the club's traditions.
"It's a non-issue. Of course, we (club board) have spoken to him about it and he was very open and very frank about it. From his point of view, it was harmless and he did not mean whatever people were trying to associate it with. We told him to be more careful with future [social media] postings.
"Maybe he is not aware of the rivalry between Selangor and JDT because he's new. I'm sure he wouldn't have done it if he were here last season or for the past few years. These are among the things that he's got to learn to not to overlook, the culture of a new place," explained Johan on the player who has been playing in Malaysia for a total of seven and a half seasons.
The club official added even head coach B. Satiananthan has reminded his charges of the need to be more mindful in their social media interactions.
"We always advice them on the need to be careful on social media, to avoid touching on politics and sensitive matters because football needs to be free from these sensitive issues.
"They are aware, but they are all adults who have to be responsible for their own actions. The coach also reminds them now and again that it's important to be aware of what they post so it doesn't come back and impact the team's performance and morale," explained Johan to Goal when met during the recent FA Cup second round draw.
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