Indonesia was bracing for a suspension by the football’s world governing body FIFA after officials failed to settle a dispute over the control of the sport’s local association, news reports said on Tuesday.
Indonesian football has for two years been locked a power struggle that has resulted in two conflicting national governing bodies and two separate top leagues.
FIFA warned last week that the two bodies must settle the dispute by Monday or the country would be banned from international competitions.
The All Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and the rival Indonesian Football Rescue Committee (KPSI) failed to reach an agreement and instead held separate congresses on Monday.
“We have tried to prevent sanctions from being imposed on Indonesian soccer, but if that eventually happens, we will prepare ourselves with a number of policies,” acting Youth and Sports Minister Agung Laksono was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.
FIFA was expected to decide on Indonesia’s fate at an executive committee meeting in Japan on Friday, the Post said.
The two competing bodies signed a memorandum of understanding under FIFA mediation in June, but have since failed to settle key issues such as dual competitions. PSSI decided to annul the memorandum on Monday.
Some of the country’s best footballers play for clubs that compete in the KPSI-sanctioned league.
KPSI banned these players from joining the national team under PSSI, contributing to Indonesia’s early exit from South-East Asia’s premier football tournament this month.