Dutch Players to Suit Up for Merah Putih
Jakarta. Indonesia will see first hand what could possibly be its future national football team, after officials confirmed on Thursday that three Dutch players would join the squad in next week’s friendly against Uruguay.
The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said forward Jhon Van Beukering, and midfielders Rafael Guillermo Maitimu and Jeffrey de Visher would join Merah Putih for the match against the South Americans in Jakarta on Oct. 8.
Van Beukering and de Visher play for Dutch second-division clubs Go Ahead Eagles and FC Emmen, respectively.
Maitimu is currently with Chinese second-tier team FC Beijing Institute of Technology.
The three are scheduled to arrive in Indonesia on Oct. 3, and are expected to immediately join the national training camp. The friendly will be played at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
The PSSI has been working with the National Team Body (BTN) on a program aimed at naturalizing Dutch football players with Indonesian heritage and including them on the Indonesia national team.
PSSI secretary general Nugraha Besoes said the three foreigners would take on the status as “guest players.”
He added that FIFA had already “verbally agreed” to the Dutch players’ participation in the Jakarta friendly.
“[National team coach] Alfred Riedl recently called a FIFA official to ask about the possibility of using ‘guest players’ in a friendly, and coach Riedl has been told that it will be allowed,” Nugraha said on Thusday.
“We will still send an official letter to FIFA for confirmation, as well as to the Dutch national football federation [KNVB].”
The friendly against Uruguay is part of Indonesia’s preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup in December, which the country will co-host with Vietnam.
BTN head Iman Arif said a team like Uruguay was the “perfect test” for Indonesia.
After Uruguay, Indonesia will play friendlies against Maldives on Oct. 12, China on Nov. 21 and East Timor on Nov. 24.
A fourth Dutch player, Sergio Van Dijk, will join Indonesia for the Maldives match.
Van Dijk is currently playing for Adelaide United in the Australian A-League.
Anticipating a huge crowd at Gelora Bung Karno for the Uruguay friendly, organizers plan to distribute 62,200 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 75,000 to Rp 2 million ($8 to $224)
Tickets will be sold online at www.rajakarcis.com starting today, while tickets can be purchased at Gelora Bung Karno only on match day.
Joko Driyono, head organizer of Indonesia’s friendlies this year, said the match against Maldives would be played at Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung.
Maldives will play a selection of under-21 players from the Super League on Oct. 9, before playing the national team on Oct. 12.
Ticket prices for the Indonesia-Uruguay friendly
Regular Rp 75,000 (20,000 seats)
Category II Rp 150,000 (15,000 seats)
Category I Rp 300,000 (23,000 seats)
West VIP Rp 500,000 (4,000 seats)
VVIP Rp 2,000,000 (200 seats)