Indonesia billionaire promises reward for victory over Vietnam or Japan

By Trung Thu   January 18, 2024 | 11:18 pm PT
Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president and billionaire Erick Thohir wants the national team to claim four points in the last two matches of Asian Cup group stage and promised a bonus if they reach the goal.

Thohir regrets after Indonesia lost 1-3 to Iraq in the first match, but still hopes the team can get at least four points from the remaining two matches, against Vietnam and Japan.

"We must defeat Vietnam, draw against Japan, or vice versa. And if the team can win both matches, it will be extraordinary," Thohir told Indonesian newspaper Republika on Thursday.

Chủ tịch Liên đoàn bóng đá Indonesia Erick Thohir. Ảnh: PSSI

Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president Erick Thohir. Photo by PSSI

Right before leaving for Qatar to compete at the Asian Cup, Indonesia also set a target of beating Vietnam and drawing with Iraq or Japan. In the opening match on Jan. 15, Indonesia equalized after conceding but still lost 1-3 to Iraq in the end. After the match, coach Shin Tae-yong said that Indonesia played well and criticized the referee for not calling off Iraq’s second goal which he deemed offside.

Indonesia will clash Vietnam at 9:30 p.m. on Friday (Hanoi time).

Thohir wants Indonesia to be optimistic and maintain the patriotic spirit, without revealing the bonus that they may get.

"We are ready to reward the team. But when the game is not yet played, it's best not to mention the bonus," he added.

The result of the Asian Cup this year also affects the future of coach Shin. His contract with PSSI is valid until June 2024, which is the end of the 2026 World Cup second qualifying round. PSSI will evaluate the team’s performances in the Asian Cup and the U23 Asian Cup, before deciding to extend his contract to 2027.

Thohir affirmed that he has a good relationship with coach Shin and always gives maximum support to the South Korean coach. But he also admits that the task is not easy for Shin. Indonesia lack experience in this tournament as they have just returned to the Asian Cup since 2007.

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