02 June 2011

Indonesian body dodges football ax

PHILIPPINE football officials yesterday breathed a sigh of relief after Indonesia was spared from suspension by FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, which decided to give the country another chance to set its football affairs in order.

The football community in the Southeast Asian region was worried on the status of the football in Indonesia after the Indonesian Football Association or PSSI, failed to hold an election this month.

According to reports published by the Jakarta Globe, FIFA deferred from sanctioning the PSSI, but set conditions for the temporary reprieve.

FIFA has ordered the PSSI to once and for all hold an election on or before June 30 to end the leadership crisis in the association.

Agum Gumelar, chairman of the PSSI’s normalization committee, and PSSI acting secretary general Joko Driyono, were informed of FIFA’s decision during a meeting on Monday with Thierry Regenass, FIFA’s director of member associations and development committee and committee member Frank van Hattum.

Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta, who is in Zurich to attend the FIFA Congress, earlier said that Indonesia’s bid to host football in the SEA Games will be affected by the leadership problem hounding the Indonesian football association.

The fate of the men’s football competitions in the SEA Games will now depend on whether the PSSI can successfully solve its leadership crisis through the mandated election.

If the PSSI still fails to resolve its leadership crisis, FIFA may suspend the football competitions in the SEAG. In this case, the ASEAN Football Federation will decide in its meeting on July 17 if it will hold football competitions as a separate event. Peter Atencio

Manila Standard Today

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