JAKARTA (29 Jan 2011) – Liga Indonesia – the organiser of the Indonesia Super League (ISL) – have estimated that foreign referees may handle up to 25% of the matches in the domestic competition.
The FA of Indonesia (PSSI) said that they will begin using foreign referees in the second leg of the ISL which will begin in early March.
“The foreign referees will not be officiating in all the Super League games,” said Joko Driyono, the chief executive officer of Liga Indonesia.
“Based on our initial calculation, they will be working in at least 25% of the matches this season. We still want to use the local referees to serve as assistant match officials.”
Joko said that Liga Indonesia would choose which matches to be officiated by foreign referees based on the level of fan support, recent history between the two competing clubs, television coverage and the clubs’ ranking in the league table.
“There are many things to consider but the way we see it, only the important matches will be called by the guest referee,” Joko added.
PSSI secretary general Nugraha Besoes revealed that Australia, Malaysia and Singapore have already agreed ‘to each send 10 referees for the Super League.’
Persija Jakarta coach Rahmad Darmawan said it was about time the league considered hiring foreign referees.
“The plan should have been carried out last season,” he said. “I don’t think it’s about the quality of local officiating. It’s just that they are under great pressure from the fans and sometimes they can’t handle that.
“This development will hopefully encourage referees to improve on their jobs.”