Indonesian Sports Minister Steps Down, Two Governing Bodies Strive To Meet FIFA Deadline
Indonesian Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng resigned after authorities launched an investigation into his role in an alleged corruption case, but denied "having ever received kickbacks," according to Samuel Rubenfeld of the WALL STREET JOURNAL's blog Corruption Currents. The Indonesian anti-corruption agency KPK named him as a suspect "in a case estimated by a government audit to have caused a loss of around $25.4M to the state." Mallarangeng said, "I have tendered my resignation this morning, and the president understands my decision" (WSJ, 12/7). In Jakarta, Tunggadewa Mattangkilang reported acting Sports Minister Agung Laksono said that Indonesia's two rival football leagues "must meet FIFA's imposed deadline to settle their differences" by Monday. Agung said that both the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and Football Savior Committee (KPSI) "had to stick with the set deadline." Agung said, "No more fights, no more group interests. KPSI and PSSI signed the [Memorandum of Understanding], which is meant to settle the disputes. Respect that, otherwise our sports sector will suffer." PSSI Secretary General Halim Mahfudz "has downplayed the threat of sanctions." He said that PSSI "was not concerned with them and that the MoU was not in line with either FIFA or PSSI regulations." Halim said, "If we ... get sanctioned, we can easily appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/8).
TIME TO PAY UP: The JAKARTA GLOBE also noted three foreign football players in an Indonesian league "have complained of not having received six months worth of salary." Abdoulaye Camara, who plays for Persipro Probolinggo, asked the Indonesian Professional Footballers Association "to assist him and his teammates" Syilla Mbamba and Salomon Begondo with the problem (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/7).