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Indonesian football association elects police commissioner as chief

Image Credit: PSSI website)

The Football Association of Indonesian (PSSI) elected Mochamad Iriawan, the commissioner-general of the country’s National Police, as its new leader during a congress in Jakarta on Saturday.

Iriawan replaces former chief Edy Rahmayadi, who resigned after match-fixing scandal. He will serve in a term running until 2023.

Iriawan had been the favourite to win out of 11 candidates, and secured 82 out of 85 votes. Six other candidates walked out of the congress, according to local media, claiming they were not given a hearing by the PSSI committee in charge of the elections.

Indonesia’s youth and sport minister Zainudin Amali said the government would support the congress’s decision: “The government will be neutral and not intervene in the internal affairs of any sport federation (in Indonesia).”

The PSSI and Indonesian police cracked down on match-fixing in December 2018 after an executive member of the association was caught on tape making a bribe of roughly $10,000 to a coach to throw a second-division match.

The PSSI has had several other failings in recent years, including unpaid player wages, hooliganism at league matches resulting in fatalities, and deaths of foreign players who were unable to afford medical treatment.

Also at Saturday’s congress, Cucu Somantri and Iwan Budianto were elected deputy chiefs of the association, and the following officials were appointed to the executive committee: AS Sukawijaya, Dirk Soplanit, Endri Erawan, Haruna Soemitro, Hasnuryadi Sulaiman, Pieter Tanuri, Sonhadji, Juni Rahman, Ahmad Riyadh, Jonah Nusi, Hasani Abdul Gani, Vivin Cahyani.

A video of a speech by football world governing body Fifa president Gianni Infantino was played at the beginning of the congress, in which he voiced his support for the event and congratulated Indonesia for winning the bid to host the Fifa U20 World Cup in 2021.