Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - Page 18 News List

FIFPro blasts Indonesia for latest sick player case


World players’ union FIFPro has urged Indonesian soccer authorities to resolve their differences after it was made aware of another case of an unpaid player being hospitalized.

FIFPro said in a statement on Tuesday that French striker Moukwelle Ebanga Sylvain, who played for Indonesian Premier League club Persewangi Banywangi, had not been paid for nine months and was suffering typhoid and stress.

Moukwelle’s plight follows that of Paraguayan Diego Mendieta, who died of a treatable viral infection last month after not being paid for four months.

FIFPro lamented that the Indonesia Football Association’s (PSSI) mismanagement had allowed the 32-year-old to die.

“It is unbelievable that a few weeks after the passing of Diego Mendieta, we are informed about another player in Indonesia seriously suffering from an illness and waiting in vain for the payment of his salary,” FIFPro Division Asia/Oceania chairman Brendan Schwab said. “Fortunately, Moukwelle has recovered from his sickness, but it is another warning sign that drastic reforms are needed in Indonesia.”

Local media said Moukwelle was owed 237,000,000 rupiah (US$24,400) by the club. FIFPro said the player had agreed to a reduced amount earlier this month, but was still waiting for it.

Accusations of mismanagement in Indonesian soccer have long been cast. Despite a huge population and widespread love of the game, the country languishes in the doldrums of world soccer and is ranked a lowly 156th by FIFA.

A continued power struggle between the PSSI and the rival Indonesian Football Savior Committee is to blame and has resulted in two domestic leagues and at one point, two national teams.

FIFA has spent more than two years threatening to ban Indonesia, but still the issues remain unresolved as it gives them a stay of execution time and again.

The latest deadline to resolve the arguments is March 20, with the national team due to start their Asian Cup qualifiers next month.

For FIFPro, enough is enough.

“FIFPro does not want to report on any more professional footballers being victimized due to a lack of respect and/or effort of Indonesian clubs and authorities,” it said in the statement.

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