Liga 1 Indonesia giants PSM Makassar have been slapped with a lengthy registration ban by FIFA on Tuesday. This came after they failed to settle salary arrears with former player Giancarlo, with the ban meaning that PSM were unable to register new players in three transfer windows from 2021 to 2022.
Additionally, league operators PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) are considering blocking any attempts from PSM to register for the upcoming 2021 Liga 1 season until they've settled their issue with Giancarlo, which effectively threatened the Makassar-based club's participation in the league.
FIFA and PT LIB's decisions came after Giancarlo had taken to Instagram to air his grievances towards the PSM management. The Brazilian striker, who now plies his trade in Bangladesh with Sheikh Russel KC, have accused the PSM higher-ups of failing to pay his wages for several months. With the Juku Eja failing to respond to his demands, Giancarlo filed a complaint to FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), who in turned slapped PSM with the registration ban.
FIFA have filed a letter regarding PSM's punishment to the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI), who in turned forwarded it to PT LIB. The PT LIB then issued a letter of their own with three important points that was signed personally by PT LIB director Akhmad Hadian Lukita, the contents of which was leaked onto social media on Tuesday. The three points were PSM are prohibited from registering new players on three transfer windows for both national and international levels, the PT LIB will bar PSM from registering for the upcoming league season until their arrears with Giancarlo has been settled, and all Liga 1 and Liga 2 Indonesia clubs have been notified regarding PSM's registration ban.
With most of PSM's players now going out of contract, the registration ban would effectively prevent PSM from participating in the 2021 Liga 1 season as they will not have enough players to compete with. This would lead to PSM potentially being relegated into the lower tiers of the Indonesian football pyramid.
PSM has so far yet to comment anything about their ongoing case.
PT LIB director Akhmad voiced his hope that PSM would settle their salary arrears with Giancarlo as soon as possible, thus averting the disastrous scenario of the Juku Eja sitting out the 2021 season.
"Since the ban came straight from FIFA, the only way for PSM to have this overturned is by fulfilling their obligations," Akhmad said, as quoted from Bola.com.
PSM's case became the latest in a string of Southeast Asian clubs finding themselves in hot water due to salary issues with their former players. Previously, Malaysian clubs Sri Pahang FC and Melaka United were instructed by FIFA to settle their wage arrears with former players Mohamadou Sumareh (Pahang), Narupon Wild, and Curran Singh Ferns (Melaka United), with Ferns even voicing out for Melaka to be punished by FIFA has they had been repeat offenders in failing to fulfill their obligations towards their players in time. Two days before PSM's case was made known, Indonesian media Bolasport reported that Thai League 2 side Lampang FC have been reported to FIFA by former player Kevin Brands, who alleged that the Emerald Chariots had improperly terminated his contract.