Thursday, December 28, 2006

Indonesia tells coach: do well at AFF cup or resign

The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) has reportedly issued an ultimatum to national coach Peter Withe to reach the final of the 2007 ASEAN Football Federation championship in January "or resign". The AFF tournament, formerly known as the Tiger Cup, is being jointly hosted by defending champion Singapore and Thailand.

According to Moch. N. Kurniawan in The Jakarta Post, the warning by PSSI chairman Nurdin Halid that Withe should resign "if he can't do his job" is designed to prompt Withe to also help Indonesia reach the final round of the AFC Asian Cup (co-hosted by Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia) in July.

However veteran local coach Endang Witarsa has criticized PSSI for its choice of coaches, saying the national game did not mesh well with Europeans like Withe and the Dutch coach of the U-23 team, Fope de Haande.

"We are quick in sprint and in playing the ball with one-two touches. Western European soccer is dominated by long passes and power as they have big, tall and strong players," he told Kurniawan. He suggested the PSSI turn to Latin American countries such as Brazil or Argentina to learn how to improve the national players' skills and techniques.

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