PSSI to hold selections
for national U-23 team

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) on Friday plans to begin the selection process for the national U-23 team for the Southeast Asian Games 2011 and pre-qualifying round for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The selection process will take place at Senayan Sports Complex field C in Central Jakarta, and will run until Jan. 17.

Several new talented players, including Oliver Rifai, Stefano Lilipaly, James Zaidan Saragih, Arthur Irawan and Andrea Bitar, are expected to join the selections.

Previously, PSSI had invited new star Irfan Bachdim to join selections for the national team during the newly completed AFF Cup, but since Irfan decided to play for Persema of Malang in the controversial Indonesian Premier League (LPI), PSSI is likely to withdraw his candidacy.

Irfan, half-Dutch, has been widely touted along with fellow Persema player Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan, half-German, to play for the national team. However, since a spat emerged between the PSSI and the LPI has yet to be resolved, the PSSI may now exclude the pair.

The selection will comprise two rounds. The first, running from today until Jan. 14 will select players for the Olympics qualifying squad, while the second round will select players for the SEA Games squad.

Players will also be picked to undergo training in Austria from April to May. The coach of the national team, Alfred Riedl, is also originally from Austria.

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