Headlines

PSSI sanctions runaway
clubs, Persib fights back

The PSSI’s disciplinary commission has sanctioned eight clubs that quit the Indonesian Premier League (IPL) after the league’s 2011-2012 season kicked off on Oct. 15.

Persib Bandung, Mitra Kukar, Persisam Samarinda, Persela Lamongan, Persiba Balikpapan, PSPS Pekanbaru, Deltras Sidoarjo and Pelita Jaya were all sanctioned for violating Article 57 of the PSSI disciplinary code for not honoring the league schedule.

The clubs broke away from the IPL to a league called the Indonesian Super League (ISL), which was previously recognized as the official league but is currently not recognized by the PSSI.

The PSSI said it would relegate the eight clubs from the IPL premier league to the second division for the 2012-2013 as punishment.

The clubs will also be banned from conducting player transfers during the 2012-2013 season and will have to pay fines.

Persib Bandung was hit with a Rp 1 billion (US$110,000) fine, whereas the other seven clubs were fined Rp 500 million each.

“Persib received the bigger fine because it was scheduled to play Semen Padang in the opening match of the 2011-2012 IPL season and has accepted Rp 250 million worth of revenue sharing,” PSSI disciplinary commission deputy chief Catur Agus Saptono said late on Tuesday.

Each club has been given three days to appeal the sanctions.

In response to the sanctions, Persib Bandung said the club would file a lawsuit against the PSSI.

“The decision to impose these sanctions has ignored our administrative rights and was made without strong evidence,” PT Persib Ban-dung Bermartabat marketing and promotion director Muhammad Farhan said. “We had to play the [opening] match because we were forced by the PSSI to avoid sanctions from the AFC [Asian Football Confederation] against Indonesia. No club was willing to hold the match.”

Persib said the PSSI had not provided legal documents to prove the legality of its obligation to play the opening match. “Without the league’s manual book, players’ accreditation, letter to the organizer and match officials,” Farhan said.

Farhan also denied the PSSI’s claim that the club had received a revenue share of Rp 250 million. “If they have evidence, show it to us. Let us know if there is a transfer receipt.”

FIFA Statutes Article 79 stipulates that “(1) Players and teams affiliated to Members or provisional members of the Confederations may not play matches or make sporting contacts with players or teams that are not affiliated to Members or provisional members of the Confederations without the approval of FIFA; (2) Members and their clubs may not play on the territory of another Member without the latter’s approval.”

The PSSI said it would also sanction Persipura Jayapura, Persiwa Wamena and Persidafon Dafonsoro, which had decided not to compete in the IPL before the season kicked off, Catur said.

The bickering within the PSSI has prompted coach Rahmad Darmawan to quit the U-23 team on Tuesday. He had been complaining that the conflict within the PSSI was hurting the players as it barred him from recruiting any players from clubs competing at the ISL.

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