Indonesia must recognise players association APPI

FIFPro and the Indonesian professional footballers’ association APPI urge the Indonesian football federation PSSI to recognise APPI as the collective representative body of Indonesia’s professional footballers.

FIFPro Division Asia chairman Brendan Schwab: ‘FIFPro and APPI welcome the reunification of Indonesian football. However, we ask the PSSI to appreciate that Indonesian football cannot be truly unified without the players’.

On October 9th FIFPro and APPI brought a substantial delegation to Jakarta for a meeting with the PSSI because of the seriousness of the issues confronting players in Indonesia. Whilst FIFPro and APPI were pleased to receive confirmation of the planned reunification of the Indonesian football associations and leagues from January/February 2014, they were very disappointed to hear again that the PSSI does not recognise APPI.

In July, FIFPro Secretary General Theo van Seggelen had already reminded the PSSI of its obligation to recognise APPI as the representative body of the professional footballers of Indonesia, as this is necessary to give effect to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by FIFA and FIFPro in 2006.

During the meeting, the PSSI made clear that it only recognised one players’ association in Indonesia, that is called APSNI, which does not even represent current professional footballers. PSSI went as far in the meeting to call on APPI to seek a merger with APSNI.

FIFPro and APPI regard this insistence by the PSSI as an unwarranted and unnecessary distraction from the key issues which Indonesia’s professional footballers are presently confronting and which need to be addressed if Indonesian football is to be successfully reunified in 2014.

Those key issues are:

  1. the recognition by the PSSI of APPI as the exclusive collective representative body of Indonesia’s professional footballers. It is for FIFPro – and not the PSSI – to determine the structure of APPI, as FIFA exclusively recognises FIFPro as the representative body of players and FIFPro has its own high standards that apply to all member players’ associations including APPI;
  2. the making of legally binding and enforceable arrangements between the PSSI, the leagues and the clubs to ensure the payment of all outstanding salaries to players before, and as a condition of, the commencement of the unified leagues in 2014; and
  3. the establishment of the requisite standards in accordance with the agreements reached between FIFA and FIFPro to apply to the unified league from 2014.

Schwab: ‘It is essential for the well-being of Indonesian football and its players that the many problems that have affected Indonesian players in the past do not arise in the new league.’

At a minimum, this will require PSSI, the league and APPI to agree on the terms of a standard player contract that meet the minimum contract requirements published by FIFA and the establishment of a national dispute resolution chamber, in accordance with the requirements published by FIFA, on the basis of parity in the representatives of clubs and players. PSSI states that it has established a chamber, but it clearly falls short of these standards as it has been established without the involvement and agreement of APPI and FIFPro.

FIFPro and APPI would therefore like to enter into formal negotiations with PSSI, the league and representatives of the clubs to reach a collective bargaining agreement that addresses the three points mentioned above and advances the good governance and sporting quality of Indonesian football.

APPI was represented by national team players Ponaryo Astaman (President), Bambang Pamungkas (Vice President), Bima Sakti, Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto, and their senior management team led by Valentino Simanjuntak and Gotcha Michel. FIFPro was represented by Brendan Schwab (Chairman FIFPro Asia and FIFPro Board Member) and Frederique Winia (FIFPro Head of International Relations).

Source: FIFPRO