PSSI waiting for more players to join camp
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The Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) says that it is waiting for more than half of the 52 players short listed for the national team for the Asian Cup 2014 qualifying matches to arrive for training.
As of Sunday evening, 25 players had arrived at the PSSI camp in Medan, North Sumatra, to begin training at the University of North Sumatra’s (USU) soccer field.
Striker Andik Firmansyah was the last player to arrive on Sunday and joined his teammates on Monday.
Those who have yet to appear include Persidafon Dafonsoro’s Patrick Wanggai, Persipura’s Boaz Solossa and Persija’s Bambang Pamungkas.
The three steered Indonesia to the finals at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, which were hosted by Jakarta and Palembang.
With a contentious battle for legitimacy between the PSSI and the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI) dragging on, those absent are unlikely to respond to the PSSI’s calls, as the players’ clubs, which compete under the KPSI-sanctioned Indonesian Super League (ISL), have refused to release them.
However, national team coach Nil Maizar said he would still give the players who had yet to arrive a chance to train with the national team. “We haven’t set a deadline so far. We will talk about it within the week,” Nil told The Jakarta Post after a training on Monday.
He said that two naturalized players, Dutchmen Irfan Bachdim and Raphael Maitimo, would join the team after returning from the Netherlands to visit their families.
Nil said that all players invited to join training would have a similar opportunity. “We want this team to be strong and solid,” he said.
Indonesia will leave for Jordan on Jan. 28 to play Iraq on Feb. 6 in Group C, which also includes Saudi Arabia and China.