FIFA dismiss Indonesia claims they will visit Jakarta

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 25, 2015 1:12 AM

(Reuters) - FIFA have dismissed claims by Indonesia that they will visit Jakarta in October with a view to overturning the soccer ban on the Southeast Asian nation for government interference.

Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi said on Friday FIFA would send an investigative team and see that all was well again in the country's soccer governance, but the world governing body told Reuters on Tuesday the trip was news to them.

"FIFA and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) would like to confirm that no such visit is planned," a spokesman said.

"Nor will a FIFA/AFC mission take place until the respective governmental authorities have duly respected the principle of autonomy of sports organizations."

FIFA banned Indonesia in June after the government refused to back down in their demands that the local soccer association (PSSI) block two clubs from taking part in the top flight domestic league because of concerns about their ownership.

The PSSI stood firm but the league was halted after two rounds and eventually canceled after the government stepped in. Attempts to restart the Super League have failed.

The FIFA suspension led to Indonesia, one of Asia's biggest soccer markets, being kicked-out of the joint 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign.

(Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)