Monday, 26 December 2011

Safee Sali told to be calm over banning of Indonesian Super League

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek wants national striker Safee Sali who plays for Pelita Jaya FC in the Indonesian Super League (ISL) to remain calm and not make any hasty decisions that may hamper his playing career.

Ahmad Shabery said Safee need to allow the All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) to resolve their quandary following FIFA's decision to ban the Indonesia Super League (ISL).

"Right now, Safee need not be worried because it does not affect the ranking. The only concern is that if the ISL was banned, what will be the implication for him," he told Bernama when met here.

According to Indonesian news portal Republika, FIFA had issued a letter to All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) president Djohar Arifin Husin stating that it did not recognise the ISL.

The contents of the letter, signed by FIFA secretary-general Jarome Valcke and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary-general Datuk Alex Soosay, the ban also extends to all players, officials and referees involved in the ISL.

"A freeze has also been imposed on transfer of players from the ISL, effectively preventing them from playing in leagues or championships in countries which are FIFA affiliates.

"Players like Safee are also affected, they cannot play outside the ISL," the portal said.

Prior to this, Safee had said if Pelita Jaya was affected by the ban, he would try to ply his trade elsewhere and at the same time represent Malaysia's national squad.

FIFA, however, has given Indonesia until March 20 to sort out its football problems, failing which harsher action would be taken.

The ISL is the league for professional clubs in Indonesia but does not come under the jurisdiction of the PSSI.

Ahmad Shabery expressed confidence that PSSI would be able to resolve the matter since Indonesia's top players like Christian Gonzales, Bambang Pamungkas, Boaz Salossa and Firman Utina would also be affected by the ban.

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