The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) on Thursday announced the appointment of technical director Pieter Huistra as the national team’s new interim coach.
The decision to replace previous interim coach Benny Dolo with the 48-year-old Dutch tactician was made at an executive committee meeting last week, according to PSSI general secretary Azwan Karim.
“We have appointed Huistra as new coach,”Azwan told Goal Indonesia. “[He] is the best option and he will take his charge for the upcoming two matches in World Cup qualifiers.”
Despite Indonesian football’s ongoing conflict with the country’s government and the looming threat of a FIFA suspension, Huistra insisted that he is ready to lead the Merah Putih squad,
“I want to show all the people of Indonesia that they can be proud of their national team, especially with the ongoing negative situation,” the former FC Groningen manager told the PSSI website. “We want to win these two games and bring back the positive spirit of football in Indonesia.”
Indonesia are scheduled to open their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign at Chinese Taipei on June 11 before hosting 2015 Asian Cup semi finalists Iraq on June 16. A solid debut in those two matches could remove the ‘interim’ from Huistra’s title.
“Chinese Taipei had good performances recently and Iraq are the favourite in our group,” the former Rangers star added. “My debut will not be easy against them. But, with hard work we’ll do our best.”