Friday, January 19, 2007

Public dispute over sacking of Indonesian coach

Former England striker Peter Withe insists he is still in charge of the Indonesian national team, despite claims by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) that his contract has been terminated. Withe's position was in doubt immediately after the Indonesians were eliminated from the ASEAN Football Federation Championship following the team's 2-2 draw with Singapore. That result saw Indonesia finish third in a four-team group that was topped by Singapore with Vietnam finishing second.

"We had set a target for him to give the country the first title at the AFF Championship and he failed, therefore we had no choice to dismiss him. We will name a replacement for him and will announce it as soon as Monday," PSSI President Nurdin Halid said in a statement. "As far as I am concerned, I am still their national team coach and I will conduct my business professionally with the PSSI," Withe said in a reply qouted by ESPN.

Withe won the AFF championship with Thailand in 2000 and 2002 and took Indonesia to the final of the last edition in January 2005. He was expecting to lead Indonesia through the Asian Cup it is hosting in July and also the 2007 South East Asian Games.

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