By Khidhir Kassim
Rajagobal recently caused a stir immediately after the friendly loss to the Saudis on March 17 when he claimed there was a lack of quality strikers in the Malaysia Super League, and cited the increasing amount of foreign players as a reason for this shortage.
Those comments raised the ire of the top bosses in the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), who will now issue a punishment to the former Harimau Malaya striker for his violation of "Article 88", which forbids officials and players from criticising the national body.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) issued the following statement: "A letter will be sent to him [Rajagobal] by next week and the issue will be dealt with under Article 88.
"He will then need to give us an explanation based on the issue and further action will be taken from there on," said disciplinary committee chairman Taufik Abdul Razak.
Nonetheless, Safiq was quick to stand by the man who has mentored him throughout his career
"I will always continue to support coach Raja[gobal] because he helped mould my career to where it is now," the midfielder told FOX Sports. "He is one of the key influences in my career since I was playing at youth level.
"All the players respect him a lot. I revere him because of his efforts which drive us forward as a team.
"We want to achieve things together."
Renowed for his set-piece ability and excellent distribution, the Darul Takzim playmaker was recently named in the first-ever ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Best XI and expressed his surprise at the accolade.
"I am happy and pleasantly surprised at the same time because I never thought I would be nominated," Safiq said.
"My main aim now is to add more goals to my game for both club and country. I want to achieve greater things with my new club Darul Takzim.
The 25-year-old, who has often be labelled as "Malaysian football's architect by the press, also insisted he is unburdened by the responsibilities of being skipper for both club and country.
"All players face pressure," he added. "The important thing is to actually work together as a team.
"The burden is lifted once we all come together to overcome the obstacles that we face.
"For me, whatever the responsibilities or roles given, we should do it together. We must go through the ups and downs with each other."
Harimau Malaya are currently looking to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and got their first win last week after beating Yemen 2-1, a result Safiq believes puts them in a promising position in their bid to reach Australia.
"It's not impossible [to qualify for the Asian Cup] if we do our best like we did against Yemen," he explained. "The win is just the start and it's a satisfying result.
"If we do our best to take it a notch up and build on our momentum, we have a good chance. We have to be positive in our goal to achieve qualification.
"As a player, we need support from the fans. Positive support will help us go forward together."
Rajagobal's case is not the first time prominent figures in Malaysian football have been found guilty of violating "Article 88", with the FAM taking action against ex-Malaysia boss B. Sathianathan and, more recently, Kelantan team manager Tan Sri Annuar Musa for similar offences.
Image courtesy of WSG