Persipura confident to play Adelaide United in playoff
Although a final decision has not been made about Persipura Jayapura representing Indonesia in the Asian Champions League (ACL) by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the team is confident it will face Australia’s Adelaide United in a playoff game this month.
On Feb. 1, the CAS granted a provisional ruling allowing Persipura to face Adelaide United in a two-leg playoff this month, after the Papuan club won an appeal in a legal battle against the Indonesia Soccer Association (PSSI).
Persipura believed it was qualified to play in the ACL as it won the Indonesian Super League, which is not recognized by the PSSI.
Persipura secretary Thamrin Sagala said that he no longer saw any barriers to his team’s appearance in the playoff. “The provisional decision says it all. I believe the final decision won’t be different. In fact, I heard that the CAS will release the final decision on Feb. 10, Switzerland time, which is possibly tomorrow, Indonesian time,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
“Ever since the provisional decision was made, we’ve been preparing the team for the match against Adelaide. We’ve even received and sent a registration form [for the ACL game] to the PSSI to make sure that we’ve got the spot,” Thamrin added.
Thamrin said that registration was due by Feb. 11.
“When the CAS releases the final decision, the PSSI will immediately send the registration form to the AFC [Asian Football Confederation].”
However, Persipura director La Siya said that he was informed that the match would be held in Adelaide on Feb. 16, but the club has not received an official announcement.
The official schedule at the-afc.com has yet to list the match.
La Siya said that all team members were preparing in Jakarta and were ready to go to Adelaide once the schedule had been confirmed.
But PSSI spokesman Eddy Elison said that it was unlikely that the match would take place so soon.
“We’ve just received information from the CAS that the final decision will not be made on Feb. 10 as scheduled. It could be anytime soon, or even within one month,” Eddy said.
The CAS has said that a full hearing could judge Persipura’s case to stay in Asia’s top club competition if it advanced to the group stage.
But Eddy said that the PSSI would respect the CAS decision. “We must stick to the regulation, which is the CAS’ final decision.”
In the provisional decision, the CAS said that the PSSI decided in November 2011 to remove Persipura from the AFC Champions League for disciplinary reasons and requested the AFC to replace it with Persija Jakarta. The AFC refused the PSSI’s request to enter Persija Jakarta instead of Persipura.