Indonesia On The Defense As It Awaits Possible FIFA Sanctions, Criticized By AFC
The Indonesian government "set up a taskforce Tuesday to deal with possible sanctions from FIFA following its failure to merge two rival football associations" by the Monday deadline, according to the AP. Acting Youth and Sports Minister Agung Laksono said that the five-member team "will consult with the world governing body." Laksono said, "This team will begin work [Tuesday night], to with FIFA in order to avoid sanction against Indonesia." He added that the team also would "discuss a possible takeover by the government in accordance with the law on national sports system." Laksono: "This is needed to prevent intervention by the government, because we have the law, but FIFA has its own rules. Therefore the taskforce has to consult first with FIFA and AFC [Asian Football Confederation]" (AP, 12/11). REUTERS' Patrick Johnston noted AFC exec committee member Prince Ali bin Al Hussein said that the two rival factions, the Indonesia FA (PSSI) and Indonesia Football Rescue Committee (KPSI), which are "set to land Indonesia a FIFA suspension," only have "themselves to blame for the mess." Ali, also the FIFA VP, believes that the two organizations "should have patched up their differences long ago." Ali said, "I have seen how important football is to the people of Indonesia and this issue has to be sorted out. You cannot have two leagues in one country, and that is a fundamental issue that has to be resolved" (REUTERS, 12/11).