Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Persib's Dilemma

Persib Bandung are considering their options after disturbances marred their game against Arema at the weekend. Fans, incensed by what they perceived as a string of refereeing decisions going against them rioted and chanted LPI, a reference to the breakaway Indonesian league. If I was Persib fan I would be just as furious at a couple of missed chances when the goal was at the striker’s mercy but that’s just me.

As Persib consider whether they should join the LPI or not there will be one factor that looms large in their discussions. Where would such a move leave their internationals? The PSSI have already dropped Irfan Bachdim from the Olympic Qualifiers because he plays for Persema in the non sanctioned LPI.

Persib are filled with internationals. Markus Horison, Maman Abdurahman, Nova Arianto, Eka Ramdani, Atep and Christian Gonzalez have all appeared on the national team radar over recent months. And of course where would a move leave Singaporean internationals Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak? Given their youth and status would they be willing to risk FIFA opprobrium by playing in the LPI?

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