Malaysia striker Shahrel Fikri sent social media into frenzy after he hinted to former team-mate Ashmawi Yakin he could be joining Selangor FA in 2019.
Turns out, the Nakhon Ratchasima striker was just “joking.”
“I was just joking with my former Harimau Muda B team-mate, it is not true,” Shahrel told Bernama of the rumours after arriving home from Cambodia late Tuesday evening.
My response to him would be “Jangan gurau benda macam ini bro, tak kelakar” (Don’t joke about things like this bro, it is not funny.)
Why joke about something like this, when all your conservations are for everyone to see?
As soon as Shahrel made that comment, fans went into overdrive telling him not to return.
“Please don’t return, stay in Thailand and hone your talents. Only return home when your country needs you for national assignments.”
“Even though I am a Selangor fan, I don’t agree. He is in a better league,” were some of the hundreds of comments on social media.
Truth is, Shahrel’s comment goes far beyond than just a light-hearted one.
If Nakhson gets wind of his ‘humour’, which they probably have, the Thai League 1 side may feel he is not committed enough to the team, and he may ruin any chances of getting a permanent deal.
Remember, the striker is only on a six-month contract until the end of the year.
And what about PKNP FC, who heavy heartedly released Shahrel midway through the season after he scored nine goals for them?
Is it fair to the small club that he is joking about joining an illustrious giant like Selangor?
Footballers really need to put a lot of thought into the things they post and comment on social media.
They are public figures, so every movement is monitored with interest.
Even more so in Shahrel’s case, after he emerged hero in the 3-1 win over Cambodia by scoring one and assisting two goals.
But the Sabah-born is not the first player to land himself into trouble after a controversial comment on social media.
In 2014, Safee Sali came under fire for his performance against Thailand in the AFF Suzuki Cup.
Fans, being fans, took issue with his performance and lambasted the striker on social media.
Instead of accepting his fault, Safee retaliated by saying “If you have any played at international level, better shut up. Do not undermine those who are trying for the country.”
His comment backfired massively when he was pictured smoking after that loss.
The moral of the story, is to threat with caution.
In the case of Shahrel, he is only 23, so he must learn from this.
We do not want to see a talented footballer not reaching his full potential because of a joke gone wrong.