(WFI) FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has hailed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between rival Indonesian football factions designed to stabilise the game’s troubled governance in the east Asian nation.
The MoU was signed on Thursday between the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI) and the breakaway Indonesian Super League (ISL) and the Indonesian Football Rescue Committee (KPSI). The Asian Football Confederation said the agreement “to cooperate and collaborate in the larger interests of the Indonesian game was inked after two days of extensive discussions by all the parties”.
It was billed as “the first significant breakthrough for Indonesian football in recent times” amid concerns expressed by both FIFA and the AFC that the breakaway league and the KPSI were have a detrimental impact on the game.
FIFA had given the PSSI a June 15 deadline to deal with its internal problems in running its leagues and dispute with the breakaway Indonesian Super League or face suspension from international football.
An AFC Task Force, led by the confederation’s vice president Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah and FIFA Executive Committee member Worawi Makudi, helped mediate talks between the groups before the agreement came.
AFC general secretary Alex Soosay and FIFA director of member associations and development Thierry Regenass were also involved in the discussions.
Prince Ali said: “Thank you to my colleagues in the AFC team and to FIFA for the MOU that was signed regarding the future of Indonesian football, and especially to my brother Prince Abdullah of Malaysia for his wisdom and leadership in this matter.
“Congratulations as well to the Indonesian people and all our colleagues and friends in Indonesian football.”
MoU, a joint PSSI committee will be established to create a new top tier professional football league. A review of the statutes is also called for. The four expelled PSSI Executive Committee members – La Nyalla, Erwin Dwi Budiawan, Tony Apriliani and Robertho Rouw – will be reinstated.
The ISL will continue to operate separately but will come under the umbrella of PSSI, said the MoU. But the Indonesian Football Rescue Committee is not to be regarded as a football governing body.
“This is the start of a new chapter in Indonesian football and an opportunity to put personal differences and politics aside for the sake of football,” Prince Abdullah was quoted on AFC.com.
“There is a lot of work ahead and AFC is willing to provide all the assistance to create a new top tier league in Indonesia. We are confident that the MoU meets the requirements of FIFA as all the football activities will be under the umbrella of PSSI.”
Widjajanto, chief executive of Indonesian Premier League, told the Jakarta Globe: “Our motive in signing this MoU is to keep Indonesia from FIFA sanctions.”
The PSSI is to hold an extraordinary congress by September to approve changes and amend the association’s statutes, he confirmed.
Zhang Jilong, the AFC’s acting president, said the agreement would serve the best interests of everyone involved. He urged all the stakeholders “to work for the development of Indonesian football, which has tremendous potential”.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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