I have exerted my best ability during the meeting with FIFA, and with this sanction, we can continue implementing football transformation programs with FIFAJakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia has successfully avoided heavy sanctions from FIFA following the country's removal as the FIFA U-20 World Cup host last month, Chairperson of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) Erick Thohir stated.
"I can say nothing but Praise be to God, by the Grace of Almighty God and prayers from all of the Indonesian people, especially those who love football, Indonesia can avoid heavy sanctions of being excluded from global football," Thohir said, as quoted from PSSI website on Thursday (April 6).
Thohir, who is in Paris, France, remarked that President Joko Widodo had directly instructed him to approach FIFA to negotiate and present Indonesia's football transformation blueprint to the international football organization.
During the meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, he also echoed Indonesia's commitment to refurbish 22 stadiums nationwide used for national teams' activities and football leagues.
"After I conveyed President Jokowi's message and presented our football (transformation) blueprint, FIFA decided to impose only administrative sanction by freezing the disbursement of FIFA Forward fund for PSSI operational purposes," Thohir revealed.
The sanction will be reviewed once FIFA completes its study on Indonesia's grand strategies of football development, he remarked.
Apart from becoming a lesson for Indonesia, the chairperson said that the administrative sanction imposed by FIFA also works in the country's favor amid the ongoing process to improve all aspects of national football.
"I have exerted my best ability during the meeting with FIFA, and with this sanction, we can continue implementing football transformation programs with FIFA," Thohir stated.
The chairperson remarked that the minor sanction against Indonesia meant that the country has avoided a "red card" and received only a "yellow card" from FIFA, thereby allowing the country to continue to participate in international tournaments, such as the SEA Games later this month.
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Translator: Bayu Kuncahyo, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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