Wednesday, January 26, 2011


PSSI Deny Cheating Allegations

The Ugly Face of Indonesian Soccer
Monday, 24 January, 2011 | 15:47 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Chief of the All Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI) Nurdin Halid has denied cheating is rife within the PSSI. While opening the PSSI Congress in Pan Pacific, Bali Nirwana Resort, Tabanan, last Friday, he claimed the quality of the soccer league had improved.

This, he said, was proven by the high interest of the audience, sponsor trust and the birth of new idol players. However, an investigation by Tempo magazine found otherwise. The report said PSSI competitions were tainted by match fixing and bribery.

During the 2009-2010 Indonesian Soccer League, the host team women 196 out of 250 games, detailed the article. Proof of the host’s power could be seen from its performance at the Persisam Putra Samarinda when it won the Indonesian League Main Division during the 2008//2009 season. Most of the wins were achieved through penalty goals. Out of 15 matches, Persisam got 20 penalty kicks.

The club manager rejected the assumption that “non-technical factors” contributed to the team’s victories. “We had the drive to win. All clubs want to win their homes games.

Penalty kicks are just part of soccer,” said Aspian Noor, Persisam’s manager.

A dirty play usually involves 3 to 5 players, which are bribed through a scalper. The rate ranges from Rp5 to Rp25 million per player in division I and II matches. The players on this level are easier to be influenced because their paychecks are often late. In the Main Division and Super League, a player can cost at least Rp25 million.

A player bought by the opponent’s team normally pretends to be emotional, ending up with a red card. Another method is to bribe a player to play rough in a penalty area. A club can also fix a result that benefits his club by requesting a certain referee. The rate for this is between Rp20 and Rp50 million, depending on the bargain and the importance of the match.

PSSI deputy chairman Nirwan Dermawan Bakrie stressed the PSSI already had a Discipline Commission to supervise such practices. “But it is difficult to manage bribes because they are hard to prove,” he said.

Another malpractice uncovered Tempo’s investigation is the obligation for clubs to pay PSSI managers if they want to go up a higher level. The report also claimed the Super League’s financial reports did not meet accountancy standards.

Out of 16 clubs participating in the 2009/2010 competitions, only four are legal bodies. Out of the four, only Arema Malang and Persebaya have Tax Payer Identification Numbers (NPW)

COMMENT - Tempo is a highly respected news magazine in Indonesia that was frequently closed down during the Suharto era.

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