Players from Barito Putera and Kalteng Putra met for a friendly match on Sunday. Both sides are awaiting the kick-off of the new, though delayed, Indonesian Super League series. (Antara Photo/Herry Murdy Hermawan)
Delayed ISL Finally Gets Sets Launch Date
FEBRUARY 25, 2015
Jakarta. After delaying the Indonesian Super League launch, league administrators announced on Monday evening the domestic league will kick off April 4.
The decision was made during intensive talks with the ministry of youth and sports and the Indonesian Professional Sports Council, or BOPI.
Joko Driyono, chief executive of Liga Indonesia told reporters it was not a decision made without consideration.
“[The Indonesian Football Association] will start the preparation of the national team for few major tournaments, which includes the pre-Olympic qualifying matches,” said Joko.
Indonesia has drawn with South Korea, Timor Leste, and Brunei in Group H of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship, which is also a qualification to the 2016 Olympics for the Asian region.
“We have to adjust with the national competition schedule,” Joko said. “With the decision made today, we cannot just start the league right away. It is not a one-day tournament. It does not go that way.”
“Ideally, a tournament kick-off must be prepared a month earlier. We also need to give participating clubs spare time to prepare their players,” Joko added. While the federation is now shifting focus to the national team, clubs and league administrator are hoping to start completing all the administrative requirements and submit the paperwork to BOPI.
“I think they have enough time to complete all the requirements and I believe they would not have difficulties to do that. The requirements are important to prove the league is run professionally,” BOPI chairman Noor Aman said.
“And it is insane if there is a statement saying that BOPI and the ministry intend to stop the competition. No, we don’t.”
The ministry spokesperson, Gatot Dewa Broto echoed the sentiment.
“The decision was made based not on who is right or wrong.”
“We made it to find the way out and we thank PSSI for its commitment to completing all the requirements,” said Gatot.
“The ministry will soon send an official letter to explain the league kick-off delay and current progress.”