Friday, February 10, 2012


Adelaide United To Rue Forward Planning

The Australians are still feeling their way round Asian football and how it operates; or often doesn't. Take Adelaide United. There they were happily looking forward to playing in the Asian Champions League when all of a sudden they are being told that they now have to play a play off against Indonesian champions Persipura.

Persipura won the Indonesia Super League last year but because they elected to play in the now outlawed ISL this year the PSSI removed their backing for the Black Pearls to compete, leaving Indonesia without a team in Asia's top club competition.

Persipura appealed to some arbitration mob who have upheld their appeal and it looks like the Asian Football Confederation will allow Jacksen Tiago's men to play in the competition even though FIFA regulations state the competition is only open to clubs who are members of official leagues.

It's a major embarrassment for the PSSI.

Adelaide though, like silly moo moos, only went and booked flights and hotels for their presumed away game in Tashkent, costing $100,000, on the assumption that a fixture list was set in gold. Down Under it may be but in this part of the world fixture lists are just another bargaining chip in the never ending game of oneupmanship.

The sun rises, it falls and the rich don't pay tax. they are about the only certainties in Asia.

And there is no guarantee they will get their money back.

Now I know the world out there goes into forward planning in a big way. There are big savings to be had on flights and hotels by booking in advance. But this little pocket of the world hasn't cottoned on to this notion yet despite the fact there are budget airlines winging round the region all hours of the day.

There was a case a few years back when Persitara were really short of money and had to play in Papua. I forget the details now but I think they flew to Makassar then waited 18 hours for another flight then transited elsewhere before arriving at their destination a couple of hours before kick off! They bought tickets as they went along and the local media would cheerily post updates of this professional football club milling round airports while their manager tried to scrape enough money together to pay for the next flight.

While I am happy to see an Indonesian team in the ACL I am not clear as to why they were allowed to compete and why FIFA are reluctant to get involved. But then they never do when Indonesia is involved beyond sending a few strongly worded letters and having a few days in Bali.

If Adelaide must play a play off you can be sure they 're gonna be well pissed off and you can just imagine the whining that will emanate from Hindmarsh Stadium (pictured top left in 1991). And if they lose the play off and enter the AFC Cup...oh boy!

No worries about the AFC Cup. The AFC said in its letter that the playoff loser would not drop into the other tournament ... all to uphold the "integrity" of the AFC Cup, you understand.
im sure glad we have ppl like pssi, afc, cas and fifa to make life easier for us
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