JAKARTA - World football governing body
FIFA has banned chairman Nurdin Halid from running as a
candidate in the Indonesia football federation's (PSSI) upcoming
elections, local media reported on Wednesday.
Nurdin, who was jailed in 2007 for misusing funds but
continued to run the PSSI from his cell, is seeking a third term
despite his premiership resulting in angry demonstrations in
Jakarta and calls for his departure.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter had made the ruling to ban
Nurdin from running in the March 26 election during a meeting in
Zurich on Tuesday, the Jakarta Globe quoted Indonesian
ambassador to Switzerland Joko Susilo as saying.
"Sepp Blatter said FIFA upholds the statutes that states a
convict cannot lead a football organization," Joko said.
"If Nurdin is reelected, FIFA won't legitimise the election
result. They want Indonesian football to be much better."
FIFA was unable to provide immediate comment when contacted
Nurdin denied he had been banned by FIFA.
"The information from the ambassador must be untrue because
the decision of FIFA's executive committee meeting [on March 3]
has been received by the PSSI and it is impossible for FIFA to
issue any decisions outside the meeting," he was quoted as
telling local news broadcaster Metro TV.
Separate Indonesian reports on Wednesday alleged other
Indonesian football identities, including oil tycoon Arifin
Panigoro, had also been banned from running for the 2011-2015
Panigoro launched the rebel Indonesian Premier League football league in January in defiance of FIFA and was banned by the
PSSI's electoral commission from running against Nurdin last
month, sparking violent demonstrations.
While hugely popular, the game has reached crisis point in
Indonesia, which is 129th in world rankings despite a population
of some 230 million people.
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