Malaysian club Pahang have criticised the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) after being forced to return home when four of their players encountered visa problems ahead of an AFC Cup clash.
Pahang were scheduled to face Persipura Jayapura in the last 16 of the second tier Asian club tournament tomorrow but they landed back in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Malaysian media reported.
Nigerian Dickson Nwakaema, Jamaican Damian Stewart, Pakistani Zesh Rahman and Argentine Matias Conti were the four players denied entry into Indonesia.
Pahang FA honorary-secretary Fuzeimi Ibrahim told the New Straits Times that the required paperwork had been lodged with the Indonesians last week and laid the blame at the door of the crisis-hit PSSI, who have been suspended by local government.
“We were promised that everything will be sorted out and the players will be issued visas on arrival. Sadly, the players were left stranded at the airport and Pahang FA decided to return home,” Fuzeimi told the paper.
“We will lodge an official complaint to the Football Association of Malaysia and the Asian Football Confederation on Monday.”
Indonesian football is in a dire state with the government taking charge of the game’s governance after a row and subsequent suspension of the PSSI over who competes in the local top flight.
The PSSI, having failed to restart the league, cancelled the season with the AFC Cup the only action for Indonesian clubs this term. Persib Bandung have also made it through to the last 16 and host Hong Kong’s Kitchee on Wednesday.
Fifa have said Indonesia face suspension if the row is not resolved by Friday and the PSSI reinstated as decision-makers.