Thursday, November 24, 2011
Jakarta FC, Persija & The AFC Cup
In the normal scheme of things there would be three Indonesian teams preparing for intercontinental competition; Persipura as ISL champions, Semen Padang as runners up and Persija for finishing third in the absence of any Indonesia Cup last season.
The AFC will only recognise the PSSI as the body qualified to run football in the country. They did last year and they will again this year. The fact that last year's PSSI are now rebels and last year's rebels are now PSSI counts for nothing.
Teams that enter the ISL this season can only enter AFC competitions with the say so from their host FA. If Persipura, for example, refuse to join a PSSI sanctioned league then if the PSSI refuse to nominate them, they can't compete.
With me so far?
Is it then a coincidence that the team formerly known as Jakarta FC in last years's rebel league are keen to call themselves Persija in this year's official league. Does that then mean, in theory, if my cynicism is correct, and of course it may not be, a team a club that was in a rebel league last year can just change their name and be accepted into AFC competitions with the region's governing body saying nothing?