Indonesian football is in “such a mess” that nothing will be done to address the issue of unruly crowds at international games despite the country being fined $15,000, an official admitted on Tuesday.
The Asian Football Confederation on Monday fined the Indonesian association over several matches at which fans let off fireworks and threw plastic bottles and paper cups onto the pitch.
But the dire state of the game in Indonesia, still trying to recover from a bitter battle between rival federations, meant no action would be taken, said Rudolf Yesayas, a senior Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) official.
“Football management in Indonesia is in such a mess at the moment, we aren’t able to do anything about things like this. We have much bigger problems,” he admitted to AFP.
The fine was imposed over crowd problems at several matches this year and last, the most recent of which was an Asian Cup home qualifier against Saudia Arabia on March 23.
Indonesia would also have to play a match behind closed doors if problems reoccurred in the next two years, the AFC said.
Football in Southeast Asia’s biggest nation had been mired in controversy for two years, with the PSSI and rival federation, the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI), running competing leagues.
The two groups finally agreed to unite in March, with the KPSI to become part of the PSSI, after world governing body FIFA threatened sanctions including a ban on Indonesia playing in international matches.
But Yesayas said there were sill many problems, with executives in the newly united federation jockeying for position.
“How can we possibly perform well, or according to the rules?” he said.
International matches in the capital Jakarta’s 88,000-seat Bung Karno Stadium are notoriously rowdy.
Two people were killed in November 2011 during a stampede at the stadium to get into the Southeast Asian Games football final between Indonesia and Malaysia.