The Jakarta Post
Eight months after a scandalous match between PSS Sleman and PSIS Semarang, four PSS players have spoken out on match fixing behind the game.
The match was a Group 1 main division fixture on Oct. 26 last year that ended 3-2 in favor of PSS.
The Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) was quick to launch an investigation into the alleged match fixing that resulted in the confirmation of a match-fixing attempt. The highest soccer authority in Indonesia then punished several players, coaches and officials of both teams ' some of whom were banned from any further involvement in soccer.
Four starting players of PSS during the match shared their stories in a discussion forum held by the Indonesian Supporters Discussion Forum (FDSI) in Yogyakarta on Wednesday.
The four players, Satrio (defender), Ridwan (midfielder), Moniaga (forward) and Ronald (not his real name), explained how the game plan was pushed by the management to the players.
'We [the players] were blamed [for the match fixing], while we were actually the victims,' said Satrio as quoted by kompas.com.
Satrio said the match-fixing attempt started with an instruction from club manager Suparjiono to throw the match to avoid being leader of Group 1, so they would not have to face Borneo FC in the semifinal. Suparjiono told the team to avoid Borneo FC if they wanted the chance to be promoted to the country's top division, Indonesia Super League, Satrio added.
The players, according to Satrio, initially refused to obey the instruction ' saying they had prepared hard for the match. During the match, they also asked the referee to stop the match as it was no longer a fair game.
Ronald, who wore a mask and a hat, told the forum how he was summoned by Suparjiono during the match's halftime. 'In the locker room, the manager told me to create an own goal so we could avoid Borneo FC,' he said.
Ronald initially rejected the request, but was summoned to the bench around the 70th minute of the second half and instructed to score an own goal by Suparjiono.
Being coerced to do so, Ronald kicked a back pass to the keeper that lead to an own goal. 'I really regret doing that. I honestly did not mean to score an own goal,' he said.
During the investigation by PSSI, Satrio also added how the manager briefed them on what to say to the investigators. They were told to point a finger at team secretary Ery Febriyanto.
Ridwan said he and his teammates only wished to explain the matter by speaking publicly on the scandal; also hoping their sanctions could be overturned.
On a separate occasion, Suparjiono denied all accusations when questioned about the matter.
'That's not true. I have no idea and never instructed the players to do anything. This case has been investigated and taken to court by PSSI anyway,' said Suparjiono. (rad/kes)(+++)
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