Much criticism has been levelled at Fandi Ahmad's son Irfan Fandi for rejecting the offer of a professional football contract with Portuguese club Sporting Braga (Saying 'no' to Braga is a missed opportunity for Irfan; Aug 30).
Before jumping to conclusions, we should also consider the many factors, like contractual obligations, remuneration and living conditions, as well as training facilities and league-playing opportunities, that could have influenced him to reject the offer.
Irfan wants to make a career out of football in Europe and obviously he has to weigh carefully the options available to fulfil that ambition.
A two-year contract is no guarantee that he would not languish in the trainee squad until his contract runs out or have the opportunity to be selected for some top league games during his tenure to advance his career.
Many an aspiring young footballer on such contracts have experienced being in limbo without enough playing opportunities and experience in the senior team, and were released immediately after the contract was over.
Fandi has played European professional football and has the knowledge and experience to counsel and guide his son in the choice of playing for a club in Europe.
Although it seems that Irfan has wasted an opportunity, if he continues to improve his playing prowess in Singapore or Asia as a professional footballer, he could eventually be talent-spotted for the big leagues in Europe.
It appears that this time around, he was recommended rather than talent-spotted by a club talent scout for Sporting Braga.