Football: FIFA Threatens Indonesia With Red Card
Conflict-ridden Indonesian football has four days to get its act together before world governing body FIFA debates giving the country a red card.
Sports and Youth Minister Andi Mallarangeng on Wednesday held urgent meetings with key members of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and the rival Indonesian Football Savior Committee (KPSI) after FIFA sent him a letter warning him it might impose sanctions if the differences were not resolved by Dec. 10 — next Monday.
The rifts, which stem from power struggles to control the association, have divided the country’s football community for two years.
In his letter, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said that Indonesia’s case had been discussed at meetings of senior officials at the world body on several occasions.
“The FIFA Association Committee decided last September to give PSSI until Dec. 10 to adopt new PSSI statutes and to work on the proper designation of delegates/members. The committee warned that in case of failure, the case would be brought before the FIFA Executive Committee on Dec. 14 in order to take sanctions which could go as far as an indefinite suspension,” Valcke stated.
After a meeting with the minister, PSSI chairman Djohar Arifin Husin said that he was astonished that FIFA would impose a sanction on his organization.
“The PSSI is an official member of FIFA and we’ve been disturbed by another party outside the PSSI. I hope FIFA can see reality in Indonesia. PSSI didn’t violate a single article in FIFA’s statute, we also gave our full support to the reconciliation process,” Djohar said on Wednesday.
He said he believed there was a malicious intention from people who wanted to take advantage of the rift.
“They want to use recent memorandum of understanding to take over the PSSI leadership,” Djohar said.
On June, PSSI and KPSI met in Kuala Lumpur and signed an MoU to reconcile warring parties in Indonesian football.
The MoU stated that four expelled members of the PSSI Executive Committee will be reinstated, the Indonesian Super League will come under PSSI jurisdiction, KPSI will be dissolved after the next PSSI congress and the PSSI Joint Committee will be established. The MoU also stated that the parties agreed to hold a PSSI congress by the end of 2012.
Since then, the Joint Committee has met few times, and even then only to agree that members disagreed on many things.
KPSI chairman La Nyalla Mattalitti said the rebel group was ready to settle its differences with the PSSI and did not want FIFA to impose a ban on Indonesia.
“We have to settle our differences in accord with the MoU. Are we ready to return to PSSI? Of course we are,” La Nyalla said.
Andi said after receiving FIFA’s warning he sought advice from the Indonesia Olympic Committee (KOI), the National Sports Committee (KONI) and former PSSI chairman Agum Gumelar.
Andi said he hoped that after talking with PSSI and KPSI, they will settle all the differences and resolve the problems once and for all. “In the meeting, both parties agreed to working together to avoid a sanction from FIFA,” Andi said.
“If there’s a deadlock, the government will have to intervene. I hope that won’t happen.”