Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The PSSI Leadership Crisis

I've been avoiding the mess surrounding the Indonesian Football Association leadership row recently frankly because it's now boring.

For now, FIFA are still threatening to expel Indonesia from their competitions unless they strictly abide by FIFA regulations, what ever they maybe. Some Indonesians are saying fine, let's drop out, reform what needs reforming then come back. Others say follow FIFA.

The sad truth is there will be no spectacular reform of Indonesian football any time soon. The breakaway Liga Primer Indonesia will not Change The Game as they hope, a new PSSI leadership will not clean up the game and games will not become cleaner and fairer. It ain't gonna happen.

Stories coming out from the LPI suggest, as I have suggested all along, that it is business as usual. Old wine, old bottles, just new labels. Games are rescheduled with the minimum notice. Club owners insist they have the right to overturn the coach in team matters. They're out in the public domain. Other bad habits prevalent in Indonesian football have also transferred to the LPI if the rumours are true. And now of course rumours the season may end at the end of this month!

Whoever takes over the PSSI, and it can be Mary, Mungo & Midge for all I care, nothing will change. What football in Indonesia needs is professional leadership with commercial know how to tap into its massive potential. We know that. It needs youth development, not just a couple of dozen lads in Uruguay, it needs decent training facilities, it needs better stadiums, it needs coaches allowed to coach without interference from Football Manager playing club owners and it needs referees allowed to referee without intimidation from club officials. It won't get them under a new PSSI leadership. Not least because nobody is even talking about the issues.

Football mirrors society. Footballs ills are society's ills. For every pair of clean hands willing to put themselves forward to do an honest days work there are ten times that behind the scenes looking after their own puerile interests. or every step forward there are numerous steps sideways and backwards.

As a country Indonesia has made tremendous progress over the last few years on many levels. It has tackled terrorism head on in a way the British never did with the IRA, it has seen an economy untouched by a world recession, it has seen reductions in the poverty levels and it has seen more tourists visit.

Counter that with increased intolerance in certain areas of the country, a splintering of the terrorist threat and issues over land ownership threatening to halt infrastructure and stymie that development and you can see there is plenty enough for the country to be getting on with. Football is just one of many battles to be fought across a country wide battlefield.

FIFA supports the suspension of candidacy of four people, that general guy, the guy behind the LPI, the guy who used to run the league and the guy who everyone thought run the league. To support the guy who set up the LPI would be an anathema to FIFA, an apostasy they can never be seen to forgive. But perhaps they need to. Because he has been the one guy who has gone out on a lead and tried to do something about the game, try to improve it, come up with a blueprint for its future. Maybe FIFA needs to show some flexibility and show some consideration for local conditions.

Sad but true that Football mirrors the society.. Indonesia history mostly filled with short term struggle story with only few long run success.. just like Indonesian Football, i think our society lack stamina needed for long runs.. this part need definitely to be reformed.
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