Friday, September 08, 2006

Indonesia to introduce 'Super League' in 2008/09

The board managing Indonesia's professional club competitions, the Indonesia League Committee (BLI), has announced changes to the 2007/08 and 2008/09 seasons following guidelines issued by the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI). According to BLI Chairman Nirwan Bakrie, 36 team will be included in the 2007/08 Premier Division (usually 28 teams) split equally between East and West zones. The eight teams to be promoted from first division are Persebaya Surabaya, Persma Manado, PSSB Bireun, Pelita Jaya Purwakarta, Persikabo Bogor, Perseman Manokwari, Persiraja Banda Aceh and Persis Solo. Bakrie advised that 40 teams will compete in First Division (usually 36 teams) split into eight zones.

However, a new division, the Super League, will be introduced in 2008/09 with only 18 teams playing in one zone. The Premier League will be retained but divided into six zones. PSSI General Secretary Nugraha Besoes confirmed that the Super League teams will be invited from the 2007/08 Premier League on a criteria basis. The teams must have a home ground or own stadium, a home base or main office and minimum cash reserves (amount to be decide later); be able to fully contract non-amateur players (at market value) and be able to make guarantees for their own players (the regulation will decide by BLI); and to have professional management. Nugraha said remaining Premier League clubs will also be required to have a professional manager.

In the PSSI structure, the BLI will organise the Super League (professional), Premier League (professional) and First Division (semi-pro). The Amateur League Committee (BLA) will organise the Second Division (semi-pro) and Third Division (amateur) and the U-23, U-21, U-18, U-15, U-14 and U-12 football festivals.

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