Francis Forkey Doe has been dropped from the Selangor side to face Sarawak in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) on Tuesday, even though the Liberian striker has been released after his arrest last week.
Doe was picked up by police for driving a cloned car last Thursday. After his release, he attended Selangor training on Saturday, pending investigations.
But coach P. Maniam has decided to omit the 2012 MSL Golden Boot winner from the trip to Kuching.
"I have to leave Doe at home based on what happened last week. It's not right to play him and I also think he needs time off," Manian told The Star.
Maniam added that Selangor have shown this season that they are able to grind out results without their star import.
They go into the match in fifth position on 16 points, seven points above relegation-threatened Sarawak.
Mohd Afiq Azmi and Nurshamil Abd Ghani are likely to carry the responsibilities up front for the 2015 Malaysia Cup champions.
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"There's no excuse not to win this match. We have to make do with the players we have. We didn't have Doe for a few matches earlier in the season, but we still managed to win. So, I don't think we will have a problem without him," Maniam said.
"Afiq and Nurshamil have been working hard in training and I think they deserve a chance to prove themselves."
Sarawak, who have won only two of their 11 games this season, have shown improved form in recent weeks, with MSL draws against Kelantan (0-0 on April 24) and Perak (3-3 on April 15).
Even so, head coach David Usop and import players Lee Jong-ho (South Korea), Mark Hartmann (Philippines) and Mateo Roskam (Croatia) are believed to be on shaky ground ahead of the upcoming transfer window. Sarawak's season tally of 11 goals is the second worst in the MSL.
"We cannot take Sarawak lightly as their import players will be out to prove their worth. I expect these players to raise their game. Sarawak also have good local players in winger Shamie [Iszuan] and midfielder Tommy [Mawat]," Maniam said.
"We can't go into matches thinking that only certain players can hurt us. We are playing at the highest level and any slip up can cost us the match."
After a loss and a draw in their last two games, Selangor's last MSL win came at home to Sarawak -- a 2-1 success on April 8.