Indonesia to retain AFF membership following exit plans

By Hoang An August 10, 2022 | 4:41 p.m. PT

Yunus Nusi, Secretary General of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI). Photo by PSSI

The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) will not leave the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) to join another federation as they announced last month.

PSSI Secretary General Yunus Nusi confirmed the information on Tuesday, saying ASEAN members must remain united in all aspects, including sports. He also called on all parties to stop the conversation on whether Indonesia should leave the AFF.

“If Indonesia leaves the AFF, what will the fans be left with? The AFF provides a platform to gauge our strength before we compete in Asian tournaments,” Nusi said.

Tensions between Indonesia and AFF increased after Vietnam drew 1-1 with Thailand in the final game of the AFF U19 Championship group stage on July 10, eliminating hosts Indonesia .

Indonesian fans were unhappy with how Vietnam and Thailand played on purpose in the last 15 minutes to keep the score level. Many fans then urged Indonesia to leave the AFF and move to another federation like the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF).

PSSI Chairman Mochammad Iriawan said at the time that he would take the matter seriously but should consider it carefully before making a decision.

Iriawan later said that the EAFF would be very happy if Indonesia applied to join the federation. But this federation does not have U16, U19 or U23 youth tournaments like the AFF.

On the other hand, PSSI also filed a complaint with the AFF to investigate unsportsmanlike behavior in the game between Vietnam and Thailand.

“We have received feedback from the AFF and they believe there is no sign of match fixing between the two teams. We respect the decision of the AFF and now the PSSI will focus on the football to improve the national team,” Nusi said.

Indonesia was one of the six founding countries of AFF in 1984, along with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei. Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia joined in 1996, followed by Timor Leste (2004) and Australia (2013).

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