Wednesday, January 18, 2012

FIFA fed up with Indonesia

After supporting its leadership change, it appears FIFA is fed up with the unending internal conflicts at the Indonesian Football Association.

The world football governing body sent an official letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Jakarta Globe, on Jan. 13 to the association known as the PSSI. In it, FIFA urged the PSSI to hold an ordinary congress “to ensure compliance with its statutes and provide a forum for resolution.”

FIFA noted in the letter that it was aware of the request by PSSI members to hold an extraordinary congress to elect new leadership. While those demanding change said 452 of the PSSI’s 588 members supported the call for an extraordinary meeting, the governing body said only 320 of the signatures were valid, short of the two-thirds threshold.

“We wish to advise that given the information submitted by you, FIFA and AFC [the Asian Football Confederation] are not in a position to comment on the validity of the request,” the letter read.

Instead, FIFA pointed to Article 29(1) of the PSSI statutes, which require an annual ordinary congress. The last such congress took place on Jan. 22, 2011, in Bali.

FIFA and the AFC set a deadline of March 20 for the congress to take place to avoid possible sanctions. In response, the PSSI said it would hold its annual ordinary congress on March 18.

“We will announce it to all voters as long as they are still members of the PSSI and playing in a PSSI-recognized competition. There is a possibility that the number of voters will decrease,” PSSI deputy secretary general Saleh Mukadar said on Tuesday.

Excluding those competing in the Liga Indonesia-organized Indonesian Super League and Premier Division will all but ensure the current PSSI leadership remains in place. The clubs in those competitions broke away from the PSSI over their dissatisfaction with the new leadership.

The Indonesian Football Savior Committee (KPSI) formed by those seeking an extraordinary congress, insisted it would hold its own meeting on Saturday.

KPSI secretary general Hinca Panjaitan said the letter showed that FIFA and the AFC acknowledged the rebel PSSI members.

“There are three points in the letter. First, they acknowledged it’s a legal fact that two-thirds of PSSI members requested to convene an extraordinary congress. Second, FIFA and the AFC didn’t want to comment on the validity of the request,” Hinca said.

“FIFA recognized the result of the Bali congress, which was denied by [PSSI chairman] Djohar Arifin Husin. He said it was illegal. FIFA was generous to give the PSSI until March 20, but it should be held in January.”

However, the venue for the KPSI meeting has been changed from Bandung to Jakarta.

“It’s a long weekend and all the hotels in Bandung are fully booked. We decided to move the event to Jakarta. We will hold the congress to remind FIFA that we met its deadline,” Hinca said. -JG.

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