Football Tribe SEA Editor
Three Liga 1 Indonesia clubs have voiced their objection towards the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI)'s plan to restart the Indonesian football season this October. Persebaya Surabaya, Persik Kediri, and Barito Putera were against the restart of all three leagues within the Indonesian football pyramid, citing their concerns behind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason behind their objection.
Last season's Liga 1 runners-up Persebaya felt that the PSSI have yet to release a proper guideline in regards of restarting the Indonesian football season. The Bajul Ijo also felt that restarting the leagues during the COVID-19 pandemic would be too risky for all parties involved, be it the players, coaching staff, and even fans. Both Persebaya president Azrul Ananda and the club's passionate supporters group, the Bonek, have agreed that for humanitarian reasons, the 2020 Liga 1, 2, and 3 should be abandoned altogether.
Newly promoted Persik were more lenient with their stance, as they have stated that despite their objection, they will respect the PSSI's decision to restart the season. Similar to Persebaya, Persik have cited health and humanitarian concerns to be the main reason behind their objection. However, the Macan Putih have voiced their appreciation the PSSI's attempts in establishing health protocols that are vital for the season's restart and they are hoping that the federation would do their best in making sure that these protocols are being adhered to when the leagues finally resume.
For Barito Putera, their objection towards the season's restart was more personal.
Banjarmasin-based Barito Putera have witnessed first-hand on how troublesome COVID-19 can be, after their assistant coach Yunan Helmi was diagnosed with the disease a few months ago. Yunan's diagnosis meant that all players and staff members of Barito Putera were tested for COVID-19, which thankfully came out negative. Learning from that experience, the Barito Putera management felt that it's too risky to restart the season. The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia is getting worse by each passing day only serve to justify Barito Putera's concerns and the club felt that it will be wiser to restart the season once the pandemic have subsided.
As reported before, the PSSI have officially announced in a decree that both the Liga 1 and 2 will continue in October, with Liga 3 kicking-off around the same time. The federation have yet to announce any more details regarding the 2020 season's resumption, however.