DESPITE problems confronting the Football Association of Indonesia, which may affect Indonesia’s hosting of the 26th Southeast Asian Games, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said the national under-23 football team will still continue their preparation for the biennial meet.
Araneta’s statement came in the wake of reports that the International Football Federation may suspend the membership of the Football Association of Indonesia for its failure to elect a new set of leaders during its congress last Friday in Jakarta.
“There is a problem in the hosting of the SEA Games. Baka sila ma-suspend at hindi matuloy ang SEA Games football sa Indonesia,” said Araneta after he was told by PSSI secretary general Joko Driyono that Indonesia has a “2000 percent chance of getting suspended by the FIFA.”
The fate of the men’s football competitions in the SEA Games will now depend on the outcome of an executive council meeting, which the FIFA will hold this Friday in Zurich.
If FIFA decides to suspend Indonesia, the ASEAN Football Federation will decide in its meeting on July 16 whether to hold the SEA Games football competition as a separate event.
Araneta added that some complications may also arise from the suspension.
He explained that if SEAG organizers decide to hold football as a separate event, the SEA Games Federation Council may also have to decide whether to include the sport in the medal count.
“We’ll just have to wait for the FIFA decision. If Indonesia is suspended, maraming complications ang mangyayari,” added Araneta.
Football officials in Malaysia, meanwhile, have sent feelers that they are willing to host the football competitions.
According to reports published by the Jakarta Globe, FIFA’s ban on Indonesia from international football could include the World Cup qualifiers and the SEA Games.
Last Friday, the scheduled PSSI’s elections ended in a deadlock as supporters of a breakaway group demanded that a ban on the nomination of two “reformist” candidates be lifted.
Army chief of staff George Toisutta and oil tycoon Arifin Panigoro were among the candidates banned from contesting the vote for chairman, along with outgoing football official Nurdin Halid following allegations of corruption.
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