Defiant Indonesia FA boss vows to fight on

JAKARTA, March 1 (Reuters) - Under-fire Indonesian football chief Nurdin Halid is not only seeking a third term as chairman but has also pledged to run ASEAN's top football job despite being embroiled in an embarrassing election crisis.

Protests calling for Nurdin to be booted out of the Indonesian soccer federation (PSSI) turned violent last week but the embattled boss came out fighting on Tuesday.

A defiant Nurdin said he would run for the 2011-15 term and had also thrown his hat into the ring for the highest position at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).

"My candidacy has been announced by the AFF committee," Nurdin was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post. "The election is slated for April 10."

Nurdin said he would compete with two candidates from Malaysia and Thailand for the AFF chairmanship in his second bid for the post.

"I failed because I didn't work (hard enough) on it," he offered. "But for the coming position, I hope to succeed."

Angry demonstrations followed last week's PSSI decision to disqualify oil tycoon Arifin Panigoro and Army Chief of Staff General George Toisutta from standing against Nurdin.

Nurdin also insisted on Tuesday his association's disputed statutes had been approved by world football governing body FIFA.

"The PSSI statutes were validated on April 21, 2009 in the extraordinary congress," he said after being summoned to the House of Representatives to answer charges of a lack of productivity during his previous two terms in office.

"However, FIFA had given its approval beforehand."

The PSSI has also claimed FIFA informed them via e-mail that the leadership tussle was an internal issue and should be free from government interference.


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