The World’s football governing body FIFA rejected allegations that it had forced the abandonment of the embattled Indonesian Football Association’s general assembly in Pekanbaru, Riau, over the weekend.
In a strongly worded e-mail to the Jakarta Globe, a FIFA spokesman said claims by PSSI secretary general Nugraha Besoes that representative Frank van Hattum decided to cancel the meeting when he saw a commotion outside the assembly venue in Pekanbaru on Saturday were “completely false.”
The spokesperson said van Hattum — accompanied by Asian Football Confederation secretary general Alex Soosay — “was prevented in being able to observe the PSSI General Assembly in Pekanbaru on 26 March by the PSSI leadership.”
“The claim from the PSSI secretary general that it was FIFA who decided to cancel the PSSI Congress for alleged security reasons is completely false. On the contrary, the FIFA observer repeatedly requested to go to the Congress venue and was prevented in doing so by the PSSI leadership.”
The comments are a slap in the face to the already critically damaged integrity of the PSSI.
Nugraha had claimed that it was van Hattum and Soosay who had called off the meeting when they saw the commotion involving the pro-reform faction of the PSSI.
“When they saw the situation in front of the hotel, they said that we couldn’t hold the meeting under these conditions. We had to cancel it,” Nugraha claimed. “That’s when we decided to turn back and return to the airport and hold a meeting there.”
PSSI chairman Nurdin Halid presided over the emergency meeting at the Sultan Syarif Kasim II Airport.
Van Hattum and Soosay are understood to be in Singapore.
Van Hattum said he was not authorized to make any comments on the PSSI assembly.
He said that he had "made absolutely no statement to the media and as such any statements attributed to me are false."