Footballer Indra Sahdan can’t take the same food every day and turns down contract

By |2009-01-12T10:23:29+00:00January 3rd, 2009|football, Nation in Motion|14 Comments
Views: 2,979

By Les Tan


Indra Sahdan only has national team football to look forward to for first six months of 2009. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports file photo)

National footballer Indra Sahdan turned down a contract to play with Vietnamese League club Hoa Phat because he couldn’t take the accommodation and the food, according to a report in the Straits Times (Saturday, January 3, 2009).

Having to share a room with two other teammates and eating the same food every day wasn’t what the 29-year-old national squad player bargained for.

Indra rejected a contract to sign with Home United in November 2008 because he wanted to pursue his playing career in the V-League and even though the Vietnamese club gave him “an attractive offer”, he turned it down.

Indra cannot now sign with Home United because the club has signed a replacement. Even worse, he cannot sign for another club in the S.League unless he resigns from the Police force, which calls into question why he turned down the contract so precipitously.

Indra was apparently one of the best paid players in the S.League at $10,000 a month and played for Home United for the past seven seasons in the S.League. He scored 10 goals last season.

One would have thought he would have checked about the accommodation and the food before he even turned down Home United.

He now has to wait for the mid-season transfer window in the S.League between June 29th and July 4th to find himself another team.

At least he still has his police job.


  1. […] to what was reported in the Straits Times (Saturday, January 3, 2009), national footballer Indra Sahdan didn’t turn down a contract to play in […]

  2. les January 12, 2009 at 11:08 am - Reply


    Yes, so many Tans, Chans, Chens – and now that I know – Trans. Makes you wonder how many wives each man had in those southern provinces of China.

    Well, since we are definitely no where close to being a high-brow scientific journals, I am greatly honoured to have a PhD student contributing stories.

    I hope you enjoy seeing the number of views go up and up for your story. 😉

  3. Jon January 12, 2009 at 10:59 am - Reply

    haha thanks for getting my name up there. You know i’m a PhD student and all I do is try to publish in scientific journals, which nobody reads, and if I were prolific I could only get a few articles per year. So seeing me contribute to conventional media, I feel greatly honoured.

    I’m a Tran by the way. There’re about 10 million Vietnamese with the same name, which is equivalent to Chen in China, Chan in Hong Kong, and Tan in Singaland, err.. hello far cousin!

  4. les January 12, 2009 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Hi Jon thanks for the info.

    You’re the second person to say I sensationalised the headline. 🙂 Oh well. But it’s true. That’s what he told the Straits Times reporter.

    In any case, here’s the story based on what you have told me:

    What’s your surname? I credited you.

  5. Jon January 12, 2009 at 2:34 am - Reply

    Hi Les the piece of news is here.

    I’m giving you a rough translation:
    title: Singapore captain Indra Sahdan Daud’s Vietnamese dream shattered (they like sensationalizing titles too)

    Coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh of Hoa Phat Hanoi said after 3 days with Indra “He is a player with pretty good skills and strategic vision. He is serious about the job, hardworking, and can get on with teammates very fast, but the disadvantage is he’s quite small built (Indra’s 1.72m tall and 62kg-editor), so he often loses one on one. We have no choice but not to take him. It really is a pity, it would be wonderful if Indra were a local player. I have told him that, he understands and is happy about it.”

    Indra diplomatically answered the Viet media: “I know that in the past years Vietnamese football has been developing very fast, that explains why you got to ASian cup quarterfinals and won the AFF title this year. The leagues in Vietnam have very high quality and the environment is conducive for players. That’s why I came here for a job trial with Hoa Phat instead of staying in Home United, although Home Utd is a very good club in Singapore. My family support my new club searching, so there’s nothing to be sad about when I don’t succeed this time”
    (The translation may be way off cause i’m backward translating his words in English)

    FYI Hoa Phat is only a second division club based in Hanoi, just relegated this year. I think they’re willing to pay a high salary, probably people like Bennet or Wilkinson or someone more fierce like Noh Alam Shah will be very welcome =) Both the coach and Indra were just beating about the bush, I guess neither food nor accomodation nor his physique is a big factor. Scared of match fixing, Vietnamese teams always put their players in hotels throughout the league, and Thai players like Dusit, Thonglao or Kiatisuk get on well here.

  6. Jon January 11, 2009 at 5:39 am - Reply

    interesting to see this. The Viet sports news has the coach talking about Indra’s professionalism, skills, teamwork, however he’s a bit small compared to other foreign strikers, which is an advantage since each team can only take 3 foreigners. It was also reported that Indra currently is the highest paid player in S league.

    It would make some sense to reckon that Indra was turned down due to either physique or they could not reach a salary negotiation. It is definitely easier to get an African player for about 5-8K than getting an expensive SEA local player. I don’t think he would like the idea of travelling around the country playing. Singapore is a small place, you can be with your family anytime.

    There’s almost no places with halal food in Vietnam, unless you’re on tournament and stay in hotels. That sucks too.

    I’m just surprised to know that he didn’t sign with Home Utd in the first place.

    • les January 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Jon, can you get me the Vietnamese coach’s name and what he actually said about Indra? That would be interesting for Singapore readers.

      Yes, I’m surprised he turned down Home United as well.

  7. SgUncle January 10, 2009 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Indra is such a proflic footballer in sg. unlike the other bad boys ( you know who i’m referring) he has his discipline kept well and maintain throughout his carrer.(maybe perhaps its the strict-ness of the police force)
    well what i can say is that, a iconic player cant make a easiest decision of all. maybe he can play viod deck soccer

  8. jay January 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    i guess the headline is abit too sensationalised?

    it wasnt only about the food, he also said the living conditions were atrocire thous and he heard that it was much worse in hanoi where they were based for the new season.

    also i guess since he has a wife a child, he was probably expecting to bring his family over or sth

    • les January 6, 2009 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      The Straits Times quoted him saying that on the second day he was served the same food again and he didn’t want to eat the same food every day.

      Yes, the accommodation was a factor. He mentioned that as well in the ST story and we also put that point up in the post.

      Certainly it’s great to bring your family with you if you can. I would want to bring my family too.

  9. les January 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Which means Indra will have to resign from the Police force, according to him.

    I guess he would rather be playing football than staying on in the Police force.

  10. Cyberdens January 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Indra Sahdan has joined Sengkang!

  11. HY January 4, 2009 at 1:39 am - Reply

    Well alam shah didn’t get much worse with his layoff, and i think indra’s one to bounce back immediately when his chance comes.

  12. YZ January 3, 2009 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Wow. Thats sad! He just might have ruined his football career for 6 mths thanks to….. FOOD?! What a pity!

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