Where there’s a will: PSSI chairman Djohar Arifin (third left), secretary-general Hadiyandra (third right) and other executives attend the PSSI’s extraordinary congress at the Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta on Sunday. The meeting succeeded in ending the protracted feud between two rival factions in the country’s soccer body. Antara/Ismar Patrizk
After a prolonged dispute within the country’s soccer ruling body, the extraordinary congress of the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) finally agreed on Sunday to the unification of the association and its breakaway group, the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI).
The congress also agreed to unite the country’s two separate leagues. The PSSI runs the Indonesian Premier League (IPL), while the KPSI operates the Indonesian Super League (ISL). Starting next season, there will only be one soccer league called the IPL, run by the PSSI, with 22 participating clubs.
The congress also confirmed the leadership of Djohar Arifin Husin as PSSI chairman, with former KPSI chairman La Nyalla Mattalitti serving as his deputy.
Opened by Youth and Sports Minister Roy Suryo at the Borobudur Hotel, Central Jakarta, the congress witnessed arguments between voters recognized by world soccer governing body FIFA — listed at the Surakarta congress on July 9, 2011, — and those who claimed to be eligible voters based on results from congresses held thereafter.
The PSSI also decided to add four new executive committee members to its ranks, namely Zulfadli, Djamal Aziz, Hardi and La Siya, and to hold a regular congress in the near future.
This latest decision, however, caused six existing executive committee members to walk out of the congress. The six were Sihar Sitorus, Farid Rahman, Bob Hippy, Mawardi Nurdin, Widodo Santoso and Tuty Dau.
According to Bob, they left the congress in protest against the “unplanned” agenda.
“We had agreed that the congress would only discuss four key issues: The unification of the two separate leagues and federations, a review of PSSI statutes and the reinstatement of expelled executive committee members [La Nyalla, Tony Apriliani, Edwin Dwi Budiawan and Robert Rouw],” he said.
The other discussions beyond those four key issues were violations of the PSSI agenda, he added.
Meanwhile, Roy said the congress had gone well and was a “success”, and that Indonesia would now avoid being sanctioned by FIFA.
FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) representatives, who attended the congress, were satisfied with the result, despite the walk-outs.
Due to the lingering dispute, FIFA had warned the PSSI several times to settle the rift or Indonesia would be banned from participating in any FIFA-sanctioned competitions.
Roy also said that Sunday’s congress marked the end of the KPSI. “We all witnessed Pak La Nyalla Mattalitti announce the disbandment of the KPSI,” he said.
PSSI chairman Djohar Arifin Husin said there would be no more splits within Indonesia’s soccer authority. “We hope all PSSI members can maintain this harmonious situation,” he added.