FIFA Face Legal Challenge from Barred Indonesian Candidates

May 12, 2011

Two of the candidates which FIFA seeks to ban from next week’s federation (PSSI) presidential elections have challenged soccer’s governing body over its decision, as FIFA renews its threat to suspend Indonesia from the international game.

According to World Football Insider, Arifin Panigoro and George Toisutta have hired former Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) judge Patrick Mbaya to question FIFA over their exclusion from the PSSI presidential candidacy.

Mbaya has sent a letter to the FIFA president Sepp Blatter, questioning the decision and requesting the Swiss to give an answer within 24 hours as the PSSI’s Electoral Appeal Committee has to make a decision on eligible candidates by Friday.

The news comes as FIFA restated its threat to ban Indonesia from international soccer, claiming it will be excluded if it includes any of four banned candidates in its federation’s (PSSI) presidential elections next week.

FIFA deputy secretary general, Markus Kattner sent a letter to Agum Gumelar, chairman of the committee, reminding him that four candidates – Nurdin Halid, Nirwan Bakrie, Toisutta and Panigoro – are not allowed to stand. 

The cost of including any of the four candidates would be hefty, Kattner warns, and FIFA may invoke “severe sanctions, including the possibility of suspension”.

He added that should a suspension be confirmed by the FIFA Congress on June 1 it could only be lifted at the subsequent FIFA Congress in June 2012 meaning Indonesia would miss out on the qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup.