JAKARTA (12 April 2012) – In an about turn from the earlier policy, the FA of Indonesia (PSSI) have now made the decision to allow players playing in the breakaway Indonesia Super League (ISL) to play for the national team.
Previously the PSSI under the chairmanship of Djohar Arifin did not allow players from the ISL to turn out for the merah-putih where they took only those playing in the official Indonesia Premier League.
“To build a great national team, we’ll need all the best players we have,” said Bernhard Limbong, a member of PSSI’s Executive Committee. “Starting this week, we will let the coach call up all the best players, even if they play in the ISL.”
Limbong said that the PSSI had already made this decision at their annual congress in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, on 18 March.
“This is part of our efforts for reconciliation. We want to show the ISL there is no discrimination in the national team,” he said. “Players from the ISL can be called up to the senior team, Under-23, Under-21 and other levels.
“We’ll notify FIFA and the AFC of this decision. We’ll make them understand that this is the best way to end the dispute. We’ll explain to them that all PSSI members agree with the decision. We believe they will understand.”
In the meantime, current Semen Padang boss Nil Maizar has emerged as the leading candidate to be the new chief coach of the Indonesia national team. If the appointment was made official, Nil will replaced Wim Rijsbergen, who was made the PSSI’s technical director in January.
Aji Santoso will remain as the chief coach of the national Under-23 side.
“Yes, Nil Maizar is the leading candidate but we have yet to appoint him as the new senior team coach. There are also several other candidates,” said Bob Hippy, the PSSI national team cooridnator. “However, we highly recommended him to the PSSI executive committee, which will have a meeting to decide the new coach this week.”
Nil admitted that he had been in intensive discussions with the PSSI about the job.
“But I have yet to sign anything. I have yet to talk with Semen Padang’s management,” he said. “However, if PSSI make an offer, I will accept it. I’m ready to help improve the national team.”