PSSI, Indonesian government lock horns over May 29 FIFA deadline

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PSSI president La Nyalla Mataliti delivers a copy of the FIFA letter to Indonesia's Ministry of Youth and Sports

have told the Football Association of () to resolve their conflict with the country’s government before May 29 or run the risk of sanctions.

In a letter dated May 4 and signed by secretary general Jerome Valcke, football’s governing body stated that it understands that there were an intervention from the government through Ministry of Youth and Sports (Menpora), which previously suspended the PSSI.

However, Article 13 and 17 of the FIFA statutes allows the organisation to suspend or expel national associations due to government interference in their operations.

“Please be informed that should all actions taken by Menpora not be withdrawn by May 29, then we will have no option but to refer this matter to the appropriate FIFA body for an immediate suspension,” Valcke’s letter read.

“Given the seriousness of this matter, we strongly recommend that you disseminate this correspondence to Menpora and KONI [the National Sports Council] as a matter of urgency and strongly encourage them to find a solution.”

The ongoing row marks the second time in recent years that the PSSI has faced suspension; a Normalisation Committee resolved the rift between the association and the competing KPSI in 2011 after FIFA threatened similar punishments. But with the abandonment of the Indonesia Super League and both sides’ apparent unwillingness to back down, the likelihood of FIFA action appears greater than ever.

“Hopefully we can find a solution. If the problem can’t be resolved before the deadline, it means we can’t participate in the upcoming SEA Games, FIFA and AFC competitions, as well as the AFF Suzuki Cup,” PSSI president La Nyalla Mataliti told the Antara news agency after delivering a copy of the letter to the government office.

But Sports Ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto insisted that the government was in the right.

“[The Indonesian government is] very anxious and very serious in [wanting to] overcome this problem,” the representative said according to AFP. “This is part of making improvements. We do not want the progress we have made to regress just because the government has been threatened by FIFA.”