The website of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) announced that Indonesia will stay in the ASEAN Football Federation – AFF without leaving to join another federation.
PSSI Secretary General – Yunus Nusi confirmed this information and said that ASEAN members need to unite in all fields, especially sports. He also called on the parties, as well as Indonesian football fans, to stop arguing about whether Indonesia should leave the AFF.
“If Indonesia leaves ASEAN Football Federation – AFF, what will the public have to watch football?”, he said. “The number of tournaments of the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) or the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) cannot be as many as Southeast Asia. Anyway, AFF is a good level to evaluate our strength before playing in the continental competition of Asian Football Confederation (AFC)”.
The controversy began on July 10, when U19 Vietnam “deliberately” with Thailand drew 1-1 in the final round of the Southeast Asian U19 tournament, causing host Indonesia to be bitterly eliminated.
Indonesian public opinion and fans were angry with the two teams Vietnam and Thailand playing moderately in the last 15 minutes to keep the score a draw. Many people think that Indonesia should leave ASEAN Football Federation – AFF, to join another federation like EAFF (East Asia) or CAFA (Central Asia) with higher competition. The President of the Football Association of Indonesia – PSSI Mochammad Iriawan also seems to agree with the above opinion when saying that he will seriously consider this issue, but must research carefully before making a decision.
On the other hand, PSSI also filed a complaint, sued Vietnam and Thailand, to AFF to investigate unsportsmanlike behavior and match-fixing at the above match. “We have received feedback from the AFF and they believe that there was no cheating in the match between these two teams,” PSSI general secretary Yunus Nusi said.
“We respect the decision of the AFF, and will not leave. Indonesia will stay here. Now PSSI will focus on football to make our national team better.”
Mochammad Iriawan once said that the East Asian Football Federation – EAFF would be very happy if Indonesia applied to join East Asian football. But this federation does not have U16, U19 or U23 youth tournaments like AFF to help young Indonesians train.
Immediately, Southeast Asian netizens, especially Vietnam and Malaysia, mocked the final decision of the Football Association of Indonesia. It is known that PSSI has repeatedly threatened to leave Southeast Asia and has applied to other federations.