Football: Fifa dismiss Indonesia claims they will visit Jakarta

Manahati Lestusen of Indonesia (left) vies for the ball against Cong Phuong Nguyen of Vietnam during the 28th SEA Games in Singapore on June 15, 2015.
Manahati Lestusen of Indonesia (left) vies for the ball against Cong Phuong Nguyen of Vietnam during the 28th SEA Games in Singapore on June 15, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - Fifa have dismissed claims by Indonesia that they will visit Jakarta in October with a view to overturning the football ban on the Southeast Asian nation for government interference.

Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi said on Friday that Fifa would send an investigative team and see that all was well again in the country's football governance, but the world governing body told Reuters on Tuesday the trip was news to them.

"Fifa and AFC (Asian Football Confederation) would like to confirm that no such visit is planned," a spokesman said. "Nor will a Fifa/AFC mission take place until the respective governmental authorities have duly respected the principle of autonomy of sports organisations."

Fifa banned Indonesia in June after the government refused to back down in their demands that the local football association (PSSI) block two clubs from taking part in the top flight domestic league because of concerns about their ownership.

The PSSI stood firm but the league was halted after two rounds and eventually cancelled after the government stepped in. Attempts to restart the Super League have failed.

The Fifa suspension led to Indonesia, one of Asia's biggest football markets, being kicked-out of the joint 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign.