|Indonesian Super League (LSI)|
It is like the battle of two lions in one cage. That’s a brief description about Indonesian football situation. There are two regular competitions which have been running for a month. One is the regular competition, Indonesian Super League (LSI), held by Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI). PSSI has been running the regular competition since 1950, but the achievement is very poor in international tournament. The other competition is Indonesian Premiere League (LPI) managed by Konsorsium Liga Primer Indonesia and PT Liga Primer Indonesia. LPI competition is expected to be a hope for Indonesian football situation that missing achievement in the last two decades. Both LSI and LPI are totally different for several reasons.
The first difference is the status of two tournaments. LSI is claimed by PSSI as a legitimate competition and registered in Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international organization governing body of association football. LSI is also registered in Asian Football Clubs (AFC) as one of the members of the main organization of football in Asia. In contrast, LPI is not registered both in FIFA and AFC.
Although it is supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sports, LPI is still considered as illegal tournament by PSSI. LPI was established by the National Football Indonesian Reform Movement (GRSNI) which consists of various members who have the same purpose to improve Indonesian football climate. In September 17, 2010, LPI was declared by 20 Indonesian football clubs together with GRSNI. The Declaration essentially related to the concerns of the conditions of national football clubs over the collapsing condition of the national football. It was lead by Arifin Panigoro (a local bussinesman).
The next difference is funding. For several decades, the club who join in LSI is financed by the government. They get funding from local government budget (APBD) in every year. For example, Persija Jakarta, the main football club in Jakarta, gets the allocation 450 billion rupiah every year from the government of DKI Jakarta. Like Persija, PSM Makassar, the main club in Makassar, gets 300 billion rupiah every year from the city government of Makassar. Many people argue this allocation. They stated that this allocation is contrary to public opinion and public demand. It is better if the allocation spends to support the progress of development and provide the public service. Minister of Home Affairs, Gamawan Fauzi, has given warning that the financial assistance from the local budget to fund the football club actually contrary to Government Regulation (PP) 58 in 2005 on the Management of Regional Finance and Minister of Home Affairs Regulation 13 in 2006 on Regional Financial Management Guidelines. But members of LSI are still persistent with the idea of the allocation of local budget. They say, “Football is come from people, so it is not something wrong if we spend the money from people.”
Different with LSI, the members of LPI have the same commitment. They refuse to use the allocation from local budget. They declare their independence from the government and build the professionalism in football. To achieve independence, LPI provides assistance consortium in forms of the initial capital for each participating club. With this assistance, the clubs are expected to run without funds from Local Government Budget (APBD). The initial capital will vary between clubs according the audit results that have been held. Additionally, the LPI embrace the principle of division of revenues in a transparent and accountable to the club participants. According to agreement with the club, LPI revenue sharing will be based on two schemes, namely schemes to league revenues (eg: sponsor the league, broadcasting rights, etc.) and schemes for income matches (eg: local sponsorship, broadcasting rights, tickets, etc.).
Next is commitment to fight corruption. For several decades, Indonesian football has always been filled with intrigue. Among club participants LSI often heard the term non-technical factors that affect the outcome of the game. This term refers to the act of cheating the referee, linesman, and the players on the field. These factors also supported the lobby outside the field to influence the score of the match. Many people pointed out that the boards of PSSI easily bribed with money, so they can manipulate the rules to win a particular club. It can be seen in many cases, particularly in an important game. Many people worried about corruption that occurred either on a football field or outside. But until now, there is no serious effort from PSSI to improve the situation which has been running for many years.
Contrast with LSI, LPI promises professionalism and competition in a healthier climate. LPI promises transparency or accountability in managing the game and promises not to interfere in the match and ensure that all fair. LPI will use foreign referees as an early stage in order to educate local referees to have the same quality with them. The commitment to eradicate corruption is supported by the public. Many people are support and appreciate LPI in various social media such as Facebook and Twitter. People hope LPI will create better environment for our national football climate.
After all, LSI and LPI are different. Even though they have the same purpose to improve national football competition, they have several differences in status, funding, and commitment. These differences represent the fact that there is a long journey to be a champion in the future. It would be better if LSI and LPI can learn together. It would be nice if PSSI improve itself and learn from LPI about how to manage the professionalism in football and how to against corruption.(*)