In Indonesian Football, it’s Politics over Talents

What do you do after your football team just lost 10-0 in a Pre-World Cup match? Boycott the media, because they presented you in a bad light. At least that’s what the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) did.

The humiliating defeat to Bahrain last week was a culminating point in a series of Indonesia’s mismanagement in the country’s beloved sport. The current PSSI fired coach Alfred Riedl after his success in putting the national team as runner-up in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup; they sacked four members of their executive committee; there is still confusion in the dualism of the Indonesian Premier League; even after FIFA had to step in through a “normalization committee” to elect a new PSSI chief because the previous one was a convicted corruptor.

Mr. Johar Arifin, the current PSSI chief, was quick to point out that Bahrain and the referee for the match was to be blamed for the loss. FIFA will conduct an investigation, considering that the 10 point win was too convenient for Bahrain who needed it to advance to the next round. However, this does not mean that PSSI is free from the scrutiny of not bringing their best players for the match, even though they had no chance of advancing themselves.

In the interview, Mr. Arifin responded that the reason of why they’re not bringing the senior players on the field was because “they are all mafia because they have been contaminated by the ways and behaviors of the old PSSI”. Despite their talent, many shining footballers were unable to wear the Garuda emblem on their chest because they did not follow the rules of the “new PSSI” or they did not play in the official PSSI league.

There’s a saying in Indonesia, “buruk muka cermin dibelah“, you break the mirror for your ugly face, which means that you’re blaming others for your mistake. Why can’t PSSI look straight in that mirror and see that they are in dire straits and in need of serious organizational reshaping?

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1 thought on “In Indonesian Football, it’s Politics over Talents”

  1. PSSI’s previous board didn’t know fuck about football, but luckily had a competent coach. The national squad was on the right track even though it lost the Suzuki cup-finals.

    It was good news that board step down ( after a tavern brawl like competition). The very bad news is the new guys in charge are even worse. Don’t blame the players – they were rookies, conceded four penalties and got their goalkeeper send off the pith in the second minute.

    Maybe they could a deal with the competing Super League, try a competent own organization ( people who know more about football than about shady business or uniforms and rehire Alfred Riedl as the teams coach.

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