Former Indonesia caretaker coach Aji
Santoso has been banned for four games for suggestions of
bribery to match officials in a humiliating 10-0 World Cup
qualifying defeat by Bahrain in February, local media reported
Santoso was sent to the stands by Lebanese referee Andre El
Haddad after the fourth official indicated that the coach had
asked if there was "money involved" in the game in Manama.
"I accept the punishment and I regret my behaviour," Santoso
told the Jakarta Globe. "I was just saying to the fourth
official 'Is there money involved in this match?'"
The 42-year-old, now in charge of the under-23 side, added:
"I won't mind if the PSSI [Indonesia's FA] decides not to appeal
Unsurprisingly, given that Indonesian football is already
treading on eggshells with FIFA over the chaotic state of its
domestic game, the PSSI quickly accepted the punishment.
FIFA has also ordered Santoso to pay a fine of 6,000 Swiss
francs ($6,600) on top of his touchline ban.
Indonesia had their goalkeeper sent off after two minutes
while Bahrain were awarded four penalty kicks in a match which
prompted FIFA to launch an investigation.
Bahrain had needed to win the Group E game by a nine-goal
margin to have any hope of advancing to the final round of Asian
2014 World Cup qualifiers. Qatar's 2-2 in Iran dashed those
Indonesia, already eliminated, fielded a vastly
inexperienced side after being blocked from selecting their
regular squad by the PSSI because many play in the rebel
Indonesian Super League.
The country is still flirting with a FIFA ban for failing to
reconcile the country's two leagues, having already wriggled out
of an earlier deadline last month.
The embattled PSSI, already facing threats from Indonesia's
government vowing to take control, has until June 15 to get its
house in order of suffer FIFA sanctions.
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