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Jakarta Post

PSSI to postpone Indonesian soccer leagues until 2021

  • Nina A. Loasana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, October 30, 2020   /   02:43 pm
PSSI to postpone Indonesian soccer leagues until 2021 Andri Ibu, a player of Indonesia’s top tier league Liga 1 Persik Kediri, trains at Brawijaya Stadium in Kediri, East Java on Sept. 21. Andri, the former Persipura Jayapura player, returned to the training ground after being declared recovered from COVID-19. (Antara/Prasetia Fauzani)

The Soccer Association of Indonesia's (PSSI) executive committee announced on Thursday that it would cancel all soccer matches in 2020 following the National Police's decision not to issue a permit for the leagues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

All soccer matches for Indonesia’s top-tier, second-tier, and third-tier soccer leagues, namely Liga 1, 2 and 3, would not resume until 2021, PSSI acting secretary general Yunus Nusi said.

"A meeting on Wednesday decided that the PSSI would call a halt to all competitions in 2020. The competitions will be resumed in early 2021," Yunus said.

"The PSSI will give the authority to PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) as the operator of Liga 1 and 2, to adjust the competitions' systems, formulas and formats in accordance with the PSSI's decision," he further stated.

Liga 1 and Liga 2 were expected to resume play in November, after having started their respective seasons in February 2020 and November 2019.

Read also: PSSI up and ready to host U-20 Championship with strict health protocol

On Sept. 28, the police refused to grant permission to the organization to hold any major sporting events given the country’s ongoing coronavirus emergency.

PT LIB director Akhmad Hadian Lukita said the company had prepared several scenarios for the league's resumption.

"Previously we planned to resume the leagues on Nov. 1 or Dec. 1 and hold them until March 2021, as the participating clubs are really eager to restart the games," Akhmad said on Thursday as reported by tempo.co.

"However, if we had to start the leagues on Jan. 1, we would have to carry out the competitions in two different regions due to limited time, as from May to June 2020 the PSSI will be busy organizing the FIFA U-20 World Cup," he added.

Yunus expressed hope that when the soccer games resumed, they could be carried out under strict health protocols.

"The PSSI had set up health protocol guidelines for the matches and had distributed them to participating clubs," he added.