Mon, 09 Oct 2000

PSSI in the dark about its members, national soccer top official says

PONTIANAK, West Kalimantan (JP): Secretary General of the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) Tri Goestoro admitted that the association had insufficient knowledge about its 360 soccer federation members which are scattered throughout 25 provinces.

Tri said this knowledge including the training facilities in each district, the background of the coaches and even their team members.

"We have difficulties in monitoring our members. We don't know their strengths, their weaknesses or even their needs. Without this information, we only gamble in deciding what we should do for them," he said on the sidelines of the visit of PSSI chairman Agum Gumelar to the association's chapter here on Friday.

Tri also urged all provincial authorities to observe PSSI chapters in their respective areas. "We hope the provincial authorities will be more assertive in helping the soccer association in their area."

Tri also urged the federation members and all clubs in the first, second and third divisions to inform PSSI about their club's condition.

"If the club doesn't have players, just leave the form blank. This way, we can figure out what we should do about the club."

"We want to be a strong organization. So we have to know the condition of our members at the grassroots level. If we can set up a good management, we are sure we will be strong," he added.

During his official visit, Agum, who is also the Minister of Communication, also installed the local chapter's officials for the term 2000-2004.

The chapter is chaired by H.A.M. Djapari. He is assisted by an official in charge of funding and facility Arman Malolongan, an official in charge of organizational affairs and federation relationships Syahbirin, an official in charge of athletes development and human resources H.M. Torisz and another official in charge of competition and tournaments Col. John RB. Pangkey.

Agum told the new officials to set up a soccer field in each district to encourage competition if they could not afford to build a large stadium.

He also asked the provincial authorities not to misuse the existing stadium or soccer field for commercial projects.

West Kalimantan has set up its team called Persipon, which is now in the second division. But lack of training facilities have hampered its development.

The province has the Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman soccer stadium, built in 1988 with a capacity to accommodate 30,000 people. But in the past two years, the stadium has been occupied by thousands of Madurese people, who have built a makeshift settlement in the complex.

The Madurese people, originally from the island of Madura in East Java, took refuge in the stadium following a series of ethnic riots which broke out in Sambas regency.

The local soccer team could only practice in the smaller Khatulistiwa stadium which only seats up to 5,000 spectators.

Tri praised West Kalimantan Governor Aspar Aswin who had showed attention toward soccer development in his area despite having only minor facilities.

"We can see that the governor and his people have big enthusiasm, which is a good atmosphere for the local soccer team to move ahead," he said.

He also hoped that local authorities could provide fertile land in the area to relocate the refugees. (ivy)