JAKARTA (20 Sept 2011) – For all the dramatic talk of reform under Indonesian football’s new management, next season’s domestic league will look all but untouched.
In a sudden about-face, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) have announced that they will not alter the local league’s format. Instead, they say, any major reform will have to wait until next year. They are expected to release further details this week.
“We will use a one-conference competition format in the top league with 18 clubs. The clubs will be re-verified and we will give priority to the 15 Indonesian Super League clubs,” said PSSI executive committee member La Nyalla Mattalitti.
Since they came into power in early July, the new leaders at the PSSI — particularly chairman Djohar Arifin Husin and Sihar Sitorus, the head of the competition committee — have pushed the idea of reforming the country’s football leagues, which have suffered from poor management and financial shortfalls.
In August, the PSSI disbanded the top-flight ISL, the second-tier Premier Division and the rebel Indonesian Premier League. In their place, Sihar proposed a 34-team top tier with eastern and western conferences. The plan also included a 34-team second-tier league.
However, it emerged during this week’s PSSI executive committee meeting that Djohar and Sihar were in the minority. Reports indicated that committee members La Nyalla, Roberto Rouw and Tony Apriliani were against the proposed new league.
Djohar said the league format could not be changed because it was set in the PSSI’s statutes.
“We can’t contradict the statutes and the result of the PSSI congress. We don’t want to violate our own regulations,” he said.
But it sounded as if he held out hope for his reforms. Djohar said the PSSI could amend the statutes at next year’s annual congress. “We may make some changes. We have to remember that clubs aren’t allowed to use regional budgets, and we don’t want clubs and the competition to stop abruptly.”
The PSSI still need to move quickly if they want to make their 14 October 2011 deadline to restart league.
If they fail to make the deadline, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have said that they will ban Indonesian clubs from continental competition for three years.
Tony said the PSSI would meet with the clubs on Wednesday. In addition to the top 14 teams from last season, Premier Division sides Persiba Bantul, Persijara Aceh, Mitra Kukar and Persidafon Dafonsoro are set to join the top flight. AFC inspectors will visit Indonesia on 26 September 2011 to assess the clubs’ documents and stadiums.
The PSSI kept most of the requirements in their proposal — such as having a youth team and season-long access to a stadium that meets AFC standards — but it dropped the need for a IDR 3 billion (USD350,000) bank guarantee. Instead, the new league will provide IDR 3 billion to each club.
Sihar said the funds would help clubs since they could no longer receive money from regional budgets. He did not specify the source of the new funding.
SOURCE: Jakarta Globe