Indonesia continues to creep towards FIFA ban

Indonesia continues to creep towards a FIFA ban after a reconciliation meeting between the country's two football leagues resulted in a virtual no-show, local media reported on Thursday.

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) invited 13 of the 18 clubs in the breakaway Indonesian Super League (ISL) to talk on Wednesday but only one, Persib Bandung, turned up.

FIFA, the game's world ruling body, is set to punish Indonesia unless the PSSI, also under orders from exasperated government officials, restores order and unifies the ISL with their Indonesian Premier League (IPL) before March 20.

"We won't stop trying to save our football," PSSI executive committee member Bernhard Limbong told the Jakarta Globe.

"We'll wait for the other clubs to respond to our invitation before the PSSI congress on March 18.

"We want to speak with all [ISL] clubs on the best way to settle the dispute so there will be only one league here."

The decision to snub the meeting at a Jakarta hotel has potentially serious consequences for Indonesia, whose national team crashed out of 2014 World Cup qualifying in disgrace.

A humiliating 10-0 defeat in Bahrain last month prompted a FIFA investigation, leaving them bottom of their group with no points and marking a new low for Indonesia football.

Persib officials did at least have their say in the absence of their ISL rivals.

"Persib is still a PSSI member and we still regard the PSSI as the only football authority in the country," said the club's marketing director M. Farhan, underlining the confusion.

Both sides now face a race against time with a FIFA ban, which Indonesia narrowly avoided last year, looming large again.


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