Southeast Asia Europe

Sani Goes Bosnian with Sloboda Switch

Persita Tangerang defender Miftah Anwar Sani has became the latest Indonesian player to move abroad after signing a half-season contract with Bosnian top flight side Sloboda Tuzla on Tuesday. The former Badak Lampung player’s free transfer meant that Sani will become the first Indonesian to play in the Bosnian league.

Sani’s move to Sloboda was announced in a press conference held by both the Bosnian Embassy in Indonesia and Sani’s agent Aggy Eka Ressy. Both Aggy and Mehmed Halilovic, the Bosnian Ambassador in Indonesia, unveiled Sani’s transfer by handing the defender a Sloboda home jersey, draped in the club’s traditional colors of red and black.

“We are pleased to announce that one of our brothers, Miftah Anwar Sani, has signed a contract with FK Sloboda Tuzla, a football club based in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Mehmed spoke to the media during the press conference as quoted from Bolasport, “He will become the first Indonesian to play in the Bosnian league. There are a few Indonesians plying their trade in Europe, but Sani’s the first Indonesian to play in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

While Bosnian news outlet announced that Sani had signed a one-year contract with Sloboda, Aggy refuted the claim on Tuesday’s press conference, stating that Sani will only play for Sloboda during the second half of the 2020-21 Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina season.

“Sani will be contracted with Sloboda until June of 2021,” Aggy said as quoted from Bolasport, “For the time being there’s no option to extend his contract.”

Aggy then revealed that Sloboda had already registered Sani to the Bosnian league operators and the club had entrusted him with sorting out all of the relevant administrative paperwork regarding the transfer. This means that Sani will be ready to be played by Sloboda once the second half of the Bosnian top flight campaign kicks-off this March, with the defender departing for the Eastern European country next week.

Sani had been closely linked with Sloboda since early this year, however as he was still contracted with Persita until January the player took to Instagram to deny the rumors linking him with Sloboda. Once Sani’s contract with Persita runs out, negotiations between the Pendekar Cisadane and Sloboda could began and eventually the Bosnian side managed to get their player on a free transfer.

Promoted into the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 2013-14 season, Sloboda had been an ever-present mainstay in the Bosnian top flight since the 2014-15 season. Although they could never hold a candle to the country’s established footballing elite in FK Sarajevo, Zeljeznicar, Zrinjski Mostar, and Siroki Brijeg, Sloboda remained competitive as they never finished out side the top 10 in each year after their promotion, claiming the league’s silver medal for the 2015-16 season and finishing as cup runners-up in the same season.