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Indonesia to retain AFF membership following exit plans

By Hoang An   August 10, 2022 | 04:41 pm PT
Indonesia to retain AFF membership following exit plans
Yunus Nusi, General Secretary of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI). Photo by PSSI
The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) will not leave ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) to join another federation like they said last month.

PSSI General Secretary Yunus Nusi confirmed the information Tuesday, saying ASEAN members need to stay united in every aspect, including sports. He also called on all parties to stop the conversation on whether Indonesia should leave AFF.

"If Indonesia leave the AFF, what will be left for fans to see? AFF provides a platform to evaluate our strength before playing Asian tournaments," Nusi said.

Tensions between Indonesia and AFF increased after Vietnam drew 1-1 against Thailand in the final group stage match of AFF U19 Championship on July 10, eliminating host Indonesia.

Indonesian fans were angry with the way Vietnam and Thailand played on purpose in the last 15 minutes to keep the score a draw. Many fans subsequently urged Indonesia to leave AFF to move to another federation like East Asia Football Federation (EAFF).

PSSI President Mochammad Iriawan said at the time he would take the matter seriously but would have to consider it carefully before making a decision.

Iriawan later said that EAFF would be very happy if Indonesia applied to join the federation. But this federation doesn't have U16, U19 or U23 youth tournaments like AFF.

On the other hand, PSSI also submitted a complaint to AFF to investigate whether there was unsportsmanlike behavior in the game between Vietnam and Thailand.

"We have received feedback from AFF and they believe that there is no match-fixing sign between the two teams. We respect the decision of AFF and now PSSI will focus on football to improve the national team," Nusi said.

Indonesia were one of the six founding countries of the AFF in 1984, along with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei. Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia joined in 1996, followed by Timor Leste (2004) and Australia (2013).

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