Big blow for Ilhan Fandi's Belgium move as he suffers complete ACL tear

Promising young forward may be out for six to nine months

Singapore forward Ilhan Fandi (left) in action against the Maldives in an international friendly match at Jalan Besar Stadium. (PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)
Ilhan Fandi (left) in action for the Singapore national team at Jalan Besar Stadium. (PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Ilhan Fandi's burgeoning football career took a serious setback, as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirmed that he suffered a complete tear of his left anterior cruciate ligament at the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup.

FAS added in its media statement on Tuesday (10 January) that the 20-year-old forward - the third son of football great Fandi Ahmad - will undergo reconstruction surgery. He is expected to be sidelined for six to nine months while undergoing rehabilitation.

It is a blow for Ilhan, who had just signed a one-and-a-half-year deal last month to play for Belgian Second Division side KMSK Deinze, following his dad's and his brother Ikhsan's footsteps in staking out a career in Europe.

FAS is in discussions with Deinze regarding further plans for Ilhan.

The reigning Singapore Premier League Young Player of the Year - who scored 20 goals in all competitions last season - suffered the injury during Singapore’s AFF Cup Group B encounter against Vietnam at Jalan Besar Stadium on 30 December, limping off before half-time.

He is scheduled to go for surgery on Wednesday. FAS said in its media statement that it will cover all costs related to the surgery, which will be performed by renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr Lim Jit Kheng, who has extensive experience regarding such surgeries for elite footballers and athletes.

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