Monday, April 30, 2007

Indonesian clubs may be lost without govt funding

The recent national seminar held by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) in Makassar drew concerns over the immediate as well as the long-term future of funding for domestic league teams. According to the ASEAN Football Federation, the concerns highlighted by the participants were largely due to the uncertainty of continued subsidies issued by local govenments from their Regional Welfare Estimation Fund (APBD), the main source of income for professional teams in the Indonesian league.

“The future of Indonesian football is uncertain due to the possibility that the clubs might lose the financial support from APBD,” said Rachmat Yasin from Persikabo Bogor. He said that the indications from APBD is not positive as for the current Liga Djarum 2007, a big number of the districts have no longer contributed financial assistance to the various clubs. “There are not many clubs playing in the Liga Djarum 2007 who receive money from APBD consistent with their request,” added Rachmat.

Rachmat is of the opinion that due to this uncertainty, the PSSI is better off restructuring the league as well as limiting the number of foreign players from five currently. “Having too many imports have become counter-productive where it is having a negative effect on the local players. We need to change the current policy to also suit the new economic conditions,” he added.

Aidil from Persisam Samarinda added that for the majority of the clubs, their sole dependence is on the funds disbursed by APBD and where their continued survival is on making sure that the funds are not disrupted in any way. “I believe that the PSSI needs to be more proactive on this matter and where we need a more concrete stance by taking in views from all participants and not just limit it to the committee level,” added Aidil. “We could have also called in representatives from the Interior Ministry (Depdagri) to see what their stand on the continued funding for football is.”

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