Thursday, July 14, 2011


Reidl In Surprise Dismissal

It took three days for the Indonesian Football Association’s new leaders to stamp their authority on the game: they fired national coach Alfred Riedl out of the blue on Wednesday.

The decision by Djohar Arifin Husin, who was last weekend voted chairman of the association known as the PSSI, came as a shock, especially as the national team is just today due to begin a training camp for a two-legged World Cup qualifying tie.

The PSSI has appointed Wilhelmus “Wim” Rijsbergen, the coach of Indonesian Premier League side PSM Makassar, to replace Riedl on an interim basis.

Executive committee member Bob Hippy said Rijsbergen has been tasked to lead the Merah Putin in the two-legged World Cup qualifiers against Turkmenistan before the PSSI appoints a permanent coach. Indonesia will open the tie in Ashgabat on July 23.

“Starting [on Thursday], Riedl is no longer Indonesia’s coach,” Djohar told reporters in Jakarta. “He’s not under contract with the PSSI. We cannot find Riedl’s contract in PSSI’s archive.”

Djohar did not elaborate on the status of Riedl’s contract, but Bob said the Austrian coach didn’t actually sign an official deal with the association.

It has been speculated that Riedl’s contract was approved by Nirwan Bakrie, the former PSSI vice chairman and BTN chairman, and did not pass through the proper channels.

“This has nothing to do with his competency as a coach,” Bob said. “It’s because he had signed a personal contract, so it’ll be hard for us to continue working with him.”

Riedl replaced Benny Dollo in March 2010 and started working with the team two months later in June.

Former PSSI secretary general Nugraha Besoes insisted Riedl had signed a three-year contract with the PSSI. “It makes no sense for Riedl not to have a contract with the association. It’s not true,” Nugraha said. “I witnessed the contract signing between Riedl and the PSSI, represented by Nirwan. We always hire our employees officially.”

Riedl’s assistants, Wolfgang Pikal and Widodo Cahyono Putro, were also dismissed. Manager Iman Arif was also replaced by Ferry Kodrat, the chief executive of IPL club Persibo Bojonegoro.

Riedl could not be reached for comment, but Iman said the 62-year-old would speak at a news conference today.

Riedl’s lone tournament helming the Merah Putih was the 2010 Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, in which he guided the national side to the final. Riedl earned the players’ respect for his no-nonsense coaching style coupled with a fatherly approach.

Indonesia midfielder Firman Utima was shocked to hear the news. “It’s a pity because we’ve been through a lot together and we’ve been a solid team,” he said.

“If it’s only for two matches, why don’t we keep him? If we fail, then the PSSI can evaluate him. But I guess it’s the new leadership’s right to decide.”

Riedl’s replacement, Rijsbergen, is a former Dutch defender who helped his country to runner-up finishes in the 1974 and 1978 World Cups. He retired from playing in 1986 and began coaching with the Ajax youth team.

The 59-year-old’s most notable post was as an assistant coach with Trinidad and Tobago side that got to the 2006 World Cup finals. He took over the head coach reins from Leo Beenhakker, but lasted only a year with the Caribbean team.

He came to Makassar in January.

SOURCE - Jakarta Globe

COMMENT - On Monday I wrote I was worried because the PSSI had appointed a football man to run the game.It took him two days to swing the axe! I can only assume he's gonna want his own people around him because from a footballing point of view the decision stinks. Still, as ever in this part of the world decisions are taken not because they need to be taken but because they can be taken. Big difference...

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