Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo asked two disputing soccer organizations — the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) and the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI) — to hold a national congress next month to settle conflict between them.
“I have received a letter from the world soccer ruling body FIFA on Feb. 13, which set a new deadline of March 20 [for Indonesia’s soccer body to solve the internal conflict],” the minister told a press conference on Monday night.
After talking to the conflicting parties, Roy said both parties agreed to hold the congress on March 17 in Jakarta to find a solution.
“Hopefully, if everything goes well, KPSI will merge with PSSI,” said Roy.
The dispute will be brought before the FIFA Executive Committee on March 20.
FIFA has sent letters to PSSI several times. In its latest letter, the world soccer body expected the bickering parties to settle key issues, including the unification of the two separate soccer leagues and federations, a review of PSSI statutes and the reinstatement of expelled executive committee members La Nyalla Mattalitti, Tony Apriliani, Erwin Dwi Budiawan and Roberto Rouw.
The PSSI’s internal conflict began after FIFA removed Nurdin Halid from his position as PSSI chairman in April 2011.
The PSSI congress, held soon after his removal, failed to elect new executives and ended in deadlock.
During the PSSI’s extraordinary congress in Surakarta in July 2011, the association elected Djohar Arifin Husin as its chairman, but some members objected to the decision. Disgruntled members then formed the KPSI and elected La Nyalla as its chairman.
The KPSI runs the Indonesian Super League, which boasts 18 clubs, while the Indonesia Premier League under the PSSI has 12 clubs.
In his hearing with lawmakers at the House of Representatives last month, Roy said he had been intensifying communications with two figures from the disputing soccer organizations: Arifin Panigoro and Nirwan Dermawan Bakrie.
Arifin is known to be the patron of the Indonesian Premier League (IPL), which is run by the PSSI, while Nirwan is the patron of the Indonesian Super League (ISL), run by the KPSI.
Roy’s top priority when he was sworn in as sports minister last month was to unify the disputing soccer bodies. “I will prioritize [the issue of the] PSSI. There will be only one PSSI. It is a must. We must dare [to do it] and the government must intervene,” he had said earlier.