Sun, May 29, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Indonesia to meet FIFA amid crisis

AFP, JAKARTA

An Indonesian soccer association official is to meet FIFA this week ahead of a meeting expected to impose sanctions over the running of the game in the nation, a spokesman said yesterday.

Indonesia is expected to receive FIFA sanctions as the country has failed to resolve a leadership crisis in its soccer body, known as the PSSI, and take control of a newly established breakaway league.

Soccer in Indonesia is in turmoil after the PSSI failed to elect a new leadership panel last week ahead of a deadline set by FIFA, and the country of 240 million people could face a ban from the international game.

“Normalization committee head Agum Gumelar will be heading to Zurich to meet FIFA officials before FIFA holds an emergency committee meeting on May 30 to decide on any sanctions,” PSSI spokesman Tubagus Adhi said.

Adhi said Gumelar, tasked by FIFA with contesting the leadership election after the world governing body took control of the league last month, would report on two main problems.

He said Gumelar would report on the failure of the PSSI congress to elect new leaders on May 20, after FIFA set a May 21 deadline.

The PSSI also failed to take control of a newly established breakaway league, the Indonesian Premier League. FIFA demanded that the problem should be settled before tomorrow.

“We hope, if there is sanction, it will be less than a year of expulsion: three months or maybe six months,” Adhi said.

“If the case is decided on an emergency committee on May 30 in Zurich, there’s a good chance the sanction will be lighter. But if they decide to bring this to the FIFA executive committee meeting on June 1, then there’s a huge chance that the sanction will be harsh,” he said.

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