Friday, June 10, 2016


Third Time Lucky For Riedl?

Alfred Riedl has been appointed coach of the Indonesian national team for the third time. The announcement came today after days of deliberations and delays. 

There had been four local coaches in the frame for the job but Indra Sjafri and Rudy Keltjes withdrew early on from the race leaving Semen Padang's Nil Maizar and T Team's Rahmad Darmawan seemingly with the field to themselves. Despite setting a number of deadlines to make their announcement all we got from PSSI were delays and postponements with no clear explanations.

So why plump for Riedl? The clues are out there, they just need piecing together. When Indra Sjafri pulled out he said he wanted to concentrate on his club but when pressed he went on to say 'I feel the situation is not normal, especially within PSSI'.

PSSI has only just been readmitted to the football family after a near 12 month suspension and it faces months of uncertainty locally with the possibility of new elections to decide the top brass. If new people do take over what is to say they will not want their own people in charge of football affairs?

Against this uncertainty you can understand other candidates uncertainty about taking the job.

Which makes the appointment of Riedl seem even more confusing. After all despite taking Indonesia to the final of ASEAN Football Federation Championship 2010 when they lost to Malaysia he was out of a job when new people took over at the PSSI saying they couldn't find his contract! The 66 year old Austrian, who once coached Al Salmiya in Kuwait, would surely have sought guarantees before taking the position?

Unfortunately the appointment of Riedl and the fact the two other leading candidates had previously held the post for short periods says much about where Indonesian football stands. There is no attempt at moving forward as political bickering intensifies ahead of possible PSSI elections. There is either no one with the vision to think out of the box or other highly regarded coaches just aren't interested in the post.

No doubt Riedl is a familiar face and he will know most of the players. And he has a proven record in South East Asian football over the years having guided Vietnam to runners up in 1998 and Indonesia in 2010 but it does smack of the last man standing getting the job after the music stopped. 

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