Indonesia trying to end FIFA's sanction soon

February 22, 2016 11:09 am 

JAKARTA, Feb. 21 — Various stakeholders connected to soccer in Indonesia have been trying to bring to an end the sanctions imposed by FIFA against the All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI).

The sanctions have been in place since May 30, 2015.

In this regard, FIFA-established Ad-Hoc committee chairman Agum Gumelar has urged the Youth Affairs Ministry to merge with the ad-hoc committee before the FIFA's extraordinary congress scheduled for February 26, 2016.

Agum, who was previously the general chairman of the PSSI, made the observation in Jakarta last Thursday (Feb 4).

"We dont want FIFA's sanctions against Indonesia to last any longer as we realize that the sanctions may have an impact on Indonesias position at a time when it is set to host the 2018 Asian Games," he pointed out.

FIFA's sanctions have resulted in a ban on the Indonesian soccer teams participating in international tournaments.

The sanctions were imposed as FIFA believed that the PSSI had violated the FIFA statutes, Articles 13 and 17, by letting the outsiders intervene, namely: the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Indonesian Professional Sports Agency (BOPI).

"The FIFA Executive Committee decided that the Youth and Sports Ministry (Kemenpora) and BOPI intervened in the management of the PSSI, resulting in the PSSI violating FIFA Statutes Articles 13 and 17," in accordance with a letter signed by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.

Another crucial point is that as a result of the FIFA's sanctions, Indonesia lost its membership of the international football association.

"With the imposition of these sanctions, the PSSI lost its membership rights (FIFA Statutes Article 12 paragraph 1) and all the Indonesian teams (club and national teams) stood banned from participating in international competition held by FIFA and AFC (FIFA Statutes Article 14, paragraph 3)," FIFA's letter noted.

The FIFA's sanction also forbade the PSSI to receive any benefit from FIFA and AFC.

FIFA sanctions also prohibited members and officials from deriving any benefit from FIFA and the AFC as Program Development and course, including training, during the sanctions period.

Previously, the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry had expressed its readiness to take responsibility for the possibility of FIFA imposing sanctions on Indonesian football over its decision to suspend the All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI).

On Wednesday (Feb. 10), however, Agum Gumelar said his side and the Youth and Sports Ministry have agreed to bring to an end the FIFA's sanctions against Indonesia.

"FIFA congress will be held In the near future. We (FIFA-established Ad-Hoc committee and the government), have agreed to jointly prevent the extension of the sanction," he noted, adding that the Ad-Hoc committee and the government were working with a common spirit to reform the Indonesian football.

"Essentially, we are open and are working together to improve the governance of Indonesian football," Agum explained.

He also informed that FIFA will not lift its sanctions until the government lifts its suspension of the All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI).

The time to settle the PSSI's problem is very limited, not later than February 26, 2016, Agum reminded.

In the meantime, the Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi pointed out that he would discuss the progress regarding the sanctions issue at the government level as well as report it to President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

According to Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the PSSI's problem will be solved immediately, as expected, by President Jokowi.

At the end of August 2015, the government had organized the President Cup as a professional soccer tournament aimed at resuming soccer as a competitive sport across the country several months after it was stopped.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) opened the President Cup Tournament 2015 at the "I Wayan Dipta" Stadium in Gianyar, Bali, on Sunday (Aug. 30), and the President Cup tournament saw participation of 16 soccer clubs.

Following the President Cup Tournament, the government also held the General Sudirman Cup 2015 soccer tournament which was opened by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on November 10, 2015.

President Jokowi opened the soccer event in the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java Province on Tuesday night.

As many as 15 soccer clubs participated in this soccer event that started on November 10. The tournament was initiated by the Indonesian Military (TNI) Commander.

The soccer tournament, which was organized to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Indonesian military (TNI), lasted until its final round at the Bung Karno sports Stadium in Jakarta on January 24, 2016. (PNA/ANTARA News)



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