SINGAPORE: Singaporean football star Hariss Harun has returned to Singapore to join the local Home United Football Club (HUFC) on loan, after failing to secure a visa to play in Spain.
The midfielder, 26, was initially sent on a year-long loan at Spanish third-tier side Centre d'Esports (CE) L'Hospitalet by his Malaysian club Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT). Hariss arrived in Spain on Feb 23 and had his first training session with the team on Feb 27.
“HUFC welcomes Hariss and would like to extend our appreciation to Johor Darul Ta’zim FC for their collaborative plan to ensure that Hariss Harun maintains his currency and standard of football,” the club said in a statement on Thursday (Mar 9).
“The club will ensure that the Singapore National Team, Johor Darul Takzim FC and HUFC will benefit from Hariss’ professionalism and technical abilities. As a club, we welcome a player of such immense value.”
Capped 71 times by the Lions, Hariss’ contract with JDT expires at the end of the year, albeit with the option to be extended by two years.
He reportedly drew a monthly paycheck of close to S$43,000 from the Malaysia Super League champions. Last month, local S.League clubs told TODAY newspaper Hariss would have been too expensive to sign.
A Home United spokesperson said the club was unable to disclose Hariss’ salary.
Dubbing Hariss one of “the best midfielders in Southeast Asia”, HUFC said: “Known for his tackling, aerial presence and plain defensive ability, the Singapore international's game was instrumental to JDT's AFC Cup success in 2015.”
“With the signing of Hariss Harun, playing alongside attacking midfielders like Faris Ramli and Adam Swandi, our fans can expect exciting fast-paced and combative style football from The Protectors this season. Hariss, aside from his game contribution, will be another excellent mentor and leader, similar to players such as Hassan Sunny, Faris Ramli and Juma’at Jantan for the younger players at HUFC.”
HARISS TO RETURN TO SPAIN IN JUNE
Hariss would have been the first Singaporean to play professionally in Spain, if granted a visa.
In a separate statement, JDT indicated that Hariss will head back in June when the European transfer window opens.
CE L'Hospitalet found out during the registration process that they were not able to sign further players until an existing tax liability is settled. The matter should be resolved in time for the start of pre-season training in June, JDT's sports director Alistair Edwards said.
(Additional reporting by Teo Kian Nguan)