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Head of scandal-plagued Indonesian football resigns

20 Jan 2019 / 17:03 H.

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s top football official resigned Sunday following a match-fixing scandal that has reignited concerns over the game’s long-running struggle with corruption in the Southeast Asian country.

Chairman Edy Rahmayadi announced he would step down at the Football Association of Indonesia’s (PSSI) annual congress in Bali, according to the organisation’s Twitter account.

“For the future of the PSSI, I am resigning as chairman,“ he was reported as saying by Indonesian news website detik.com.

Rahmayadi, who was elected chair of the scandal-plagued PSSI in 2016, admitted some failings under his leadership, local media reported.

Indonesian football has recently been rocked by a series of match-fixing allegations.

The PSSI and police announced a crackdown on match-fixing in December after an executive member of the association was caught on tape trying to bribe a coach approximately US$10,000 (RM41,000) to throw a second division game.

Hidayat, who like many Indonesians only uses one name, resigned from his role and was handed a three-year ban and fine by a PSSI disciplinary committee.

Police have since named more than 10 suspects in a match-fixing probe.

While it has a low international profile, Indonesia has attracted Premier League players including former Chelsea star Michael Essien and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Didier Zokora.

But Indonesian football has been tarnished on the global stage by a host of problems over the years, including months of unpaid wages and the deaths of at least two foreign players who were left unable to afford medical care.

An explosive row between the domestic association and government prompted FIFA to ban Indonesia from international competition in 2015. The ban was lifted in 2017.

It has also gained a reputation for deadly hooliganism. — AFP

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