Thursday, December 01, 2005

Deputy chosen for jailed Indonesian FA president

The national meeting of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) in Hotel Grand Mercure, Yogyakarta, 28-29 November, appointed a deputy for the national president, Dr Nurdin Halid, who is currently in jail waiting trial for corruption. Mr Agusman Effendi will deputise for Mr Halid during his incarceration. Mr Halid, chairman of the Indonesian Cooperatives Association and formerly associated with the football club PSM Makassar, was elected president of PSSI for a five-year term in 2003

Soon after, however, he was arrested and charged with embezzling Rp 169.7 billion (US$ 18 million) in state funds from the National Logistics Agency (Bulog). That charged was rejected by the South Jakarta district court in June this year but Mr Halid is back in Jakarta’s Salemba jail pending his trial for a separate charge of involvement in a sugar smuggling case worth Rp 180 billion (US$ 19 million) involving state-owned plantation company PTPN X.

"Not only in this [Bulog] case was I sacrificed, but also in the corruption charge over the sugar import by PTPN X because I was slandered by former industry and trade minister Rini Suwandi," he complained at the time. He said he was “sacrificed” by Rini Suwandi in 2004 because of pressure from then president Megawati Sukarnoputri’s campaign team for the 2004 presidential election, as he had supported the competing Golkar Party’s presidential candidate, former military chief Wiranto. In 1999 Mr Halid was found not guilty of swindling more than Rp 100 billion of funds owned by local clove farmers in South Sulawesi.

In other decisions, PSSI established an autonomous board to run the national professional competition, Liga Indonesia; discussed the implementation of new FIFA and Asian Football Confederation rules; evaluated its 2005 work program and supervision of departments; and discussed a proposal to recommend the late Soeratin Sosrosoegondo, the founding chairman of PSSI in 1930, to the central government to be declared a "National Hero". No decision was taken on the return of the Surabaya club, Persebaya, to league ranks after its 18-months suspension is served.

See also: AFC applies vision to 'wake up' Indonesian football (23 Nov)

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