Indonesian official to meet FIFA

An Indonesian football association official is to meet FIFA this week ahead of a meeting expected to impose sanctions over the running of the game in the Asian nation, a spokesman said.

Indonesia is expected to be punished by FIFA for failing to resolve a leadership crisis in its football body, known as the PSSI, or take control of a newly-established breakaway league.

The PSSI failed to elect a new leadership panel last week ahead of a deadline set by FIFA, leaving the sport's administration in turmoil and the country of 240 million people facing a ban from the international game.

"Normalisation committee head Agum Umbellar will be heading to Zurich to meet FIFA officials before FIFA holds an emergency committee meeting on May 30 to decide on any sanctions," PSSI spokesman Unbags Adhi said.

Adhi said Umbellar, tasked by FIFA with organising the leadership election after the world governing body took control of the league last month, would report on the PSSI congress' failure to elect a new head, after FIFA set a 21 May deadline.

Rancour between supporters of rivals for the post - two of whom had been banned from the nominations - turned the meeting into chaos, forcing Umbellar to close it without results.

The PSSI also failed to take control of a newly-established breakaway league, the Indonesian Premier League. FIFA has demanded that the issue should be settled before 30 May.

"We hope if there are sanctions, it will be less than a year of expulsion, three months or maybe six months," Adhi said.

"If the case is decided on by an emergency committee on May 30 in Zurich, there's a good chance the sanctions will be lighter. But if they decide to bring this to the FIFA executive committee meeting on June 1, then there's a huge chance that the sanctions will be harsh."

Television commentator and former sports journalist Effendi Ghazali said it was likely that Indonesia would be punished by FIFA.

"Although I don't wish for a sanction, I think Indonesia will receive one," he said.

"What we have to learn from the past is that in the next PSSI congress, there should be no more use of thuggish force in voting. We have to be more orderly," he said.

Indonesia was runner-up to Malaysia in Southeast Asia's ARFF Suzuki Cup last December, and was a successful co-host of the 2007 Asian Cup, but the national team stands a lowly 130th in the FIFA rankings - below Ethiopia and Yemen - and has never reached the World Cup finals.

Source AFP