Tuesday, March 01, 2011


The End Is Nigh

Cracks are beginning to appear in the previously formidable support the PSSI chairman appeared to enjoy with the clubs and regional FAs now sensing which way the wind is blowing and turning against him in large numbers. What is significant that these bodies, who had been extensively seduced ahead of the election, have the all important votes that will decide the next chairman.

A recent trip to Qatar seemed to have secured their crucial votes but recent demonstrations, coupled with revelation pro PSSI protesters had been paid, have put the leadership even more on the defensive and you can almost hear the pitter patter of tiny, clawed feet as everyone heads for the lifeboats.

At the start of the year the chairman seemed secure. All he needed to do was face down the renegade Liga Primer Indonesia with a series of strategic sanctions and punishments that FIFA would have found acceptable, run and win a fair re-election then with PSSI and FIFA support go after the LPI.

But that didn't happen. Instead the verification committee rejected outside bids for leadership which left an even worse than usual aroma hanging round the Senayan offices. The committee then cancelled all candidates claiming outside interference leaving the election planned for March up in the air.

With the advantage slipping away through a mixture of bumbling and street protests the PSSI were offered an olive branch when the Sports Minister made comments that could have been construed as political interference. Certainly FIFA, unmoved by allegations of match fixing and corruption, twitched its ears and warned the PSSI could be punished if any political meddling could be proved.

Instead the leadership picked up its fiddle and started a-plucking while all around them collapsed. The mismanagement of the whole affair, from LPI to alleged political ineterference, is a metaphor for the way the game has been run for the last few years. But now, perhaps, there is afaint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, it depends on a replacement. Iman Arief has impressed outsiders and upset insiders since being appointed to help run the national team but his close connections to the Bakrie family may count against him. Proposed military folk and businessmen are being welcomed warmly but I have my doubts. A new era needs fresh faces with fresh ideas and no links to the past. Would Iman and Arya Abhiseka, the general manager of the LPI, be a dream team ticket?

I'll vote for Joko Driyono as chairman and Iman Arief as secretary general, if only I were PSSI member
both strong connections to the current ruling family. how much would change?
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