Court overturns Sports Ministry’s suspension of PSSI

A Jakarta court has overturned the Sports Ministry’s decision to suspend the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), in a ruling welcomed by fans who have been unable to enjoy local action for months.

The State Administrative Court’s decision will pave the way for the resumption of league competitions, which were cancelled early in the season after Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi suspended the PSSI in April.

The Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of the PSSI in its lawsuit against the Sports Ministry’s decision. The ministry said it would appeal the ruling.

The PSSI said it plans to restart league and first division competitions in October.

“We will ask the police to issue a permit for the competition,” PSSI chief La Nyalla Mattalitti said.

“PSSI has informed FIFA about the court’s decision. We will ask the sports minister not to interfere because FIFA’s previous letter was clear,” he said. “Let’s sit together but no intervention!”

Football Ahmad Sutisna said he was happy with the ruling.

“I hope the PSSI will be able to improve the game in the future,” he said.

The ministry’s move to freeze PSSI  had prompted world football governing body FIFA to suspend Indonesia on the grounds of government interference.

The ministry suspended PSSI for ignoring orders to exclude two clubs from the Indonesian Super League over ownership concerns. The government then appointed its own transitional committee to run the national programme.

The ministry’s order to exclude the two clubs came after they failed a government audit into several aspects of their management, and were embroiled in ownership disputes.

The FIFA suspension prevented Indonesia from taking part in qualifying stages for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup.

Clubs also said they have been unable to pay players after sponsors withdrew support as a result of the halt to competitions.

Indonesian football was until recently bogged down by infighting over control of the sport in the football-mad country.

The national team was unable to field many of the country’s strongest players, who were signed to a rival league not recognized by PSSI.

The dispute with the non-PSSI league was resolved in 2013.

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