Indonesia vows to fix football saga

Football Association determined to resolve crisis that could see national side thrown out of international competition.

    FIFA are investigating the Indonesian football association after the national side lost to Bahrain in dubious circumstances in February [AFP]

    Indonesian football chiefs vowed on Saturday to make "every effort" to resolve a crisis sparked by a breakaway league that could see the national side thrown out of international competition.

    FIFA had previously given the Indonesian football federation (PSSI) until May 20 to clear up a damaging wrangle that has seen Indonesia's best teams split into two leagues.

    Football's world governing body announced a new June 15 deadline after a meeting on Friday, calling for the PSSI to resolve "the issues at stake, notably the control of the breakaway league".

    "Of course we are relieved FIFA has given us this extra time. We will put in every effort to engage Super Liga and try and convince them to play under the PSSI," federation official Rudolf Yesayas told AFP.

    "But we need Super Liga to talk to us. We invited all the clubs to a meeting this week but no one even replied."

    Controversial times

    The PSSI has been in hot water with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation in recent years over a spate of cases, including a leadership tussle and corruption allegations.

    The latest crisis emerged when the unofficial Super Liga kicked off to rival the PSSI-recognised Liga Prima.

    In February Indonesia suffered another blow when the national team was thrashed 10-0 by Bahrain in a World Cup qualifier.

    Indonesia fielded a weak team because FIFA banned players from the unofficial Super Liga from representing their country.

    FIFA launched an investigation into the match, in which Bahrain needed to win by a nine-goal margin to have any hope of making the next round of qualifiers. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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