Selasa 07 Nov 2023 07:22 WIB

Indonesian FA: Raise Your Palestinian Flags!

Palestinian Football Association appreciates Erick Thohir's support and concern.

Rep: Afrizal Rosikhul Hilmi/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Supporters wave Palestinian flags during the Persik Kediri Liga 1 competition match against Persebaya Surabaya at the Brawijaya Stadium, Kediri City, East Java, Friday (27/10/2023).
Foto: Antara/Prasetia Fauzani
Supporters wave Palestinian flags during the Persik Kediri Liga 1 competition match against Persebaya Surabaya at the Brawijaya Stadium, Kediri City, East Java, Friday (27/10/2023).

JAKARTA -- Indonesian Footbal Association (PSSI) General Chairman Erick Thohir said he had coordinated with FIFA to allow the Palestinian flag to be flown in FIFA-sponsored competitions. According to Erick, FIFA does not question the flying of the Palestinian flag as a symbol of support for humanity and the protection of human rights.

“FIFA values freedom of expression. Especially on the protection of human rights and humanity. This is especially in the context of the raising of the Palestinian flag. So, the PSSI in this case confirms that there are no bans let alone sanctions,” Erick was quoted from the PSSI website on Monday (6/11/2023).

Baca Juga

Erick also commented on the growing issue that the PSSI Disciplinary Committee sanctioned Persiraja Banda Aceh for flying the Palestinian flag. According to Erick, it was disinformation spread by irresponsible people.

Erick said, what was highlighted in the case was not the Palestinian flag, but about the supporters who staged the invasion on the pitch. “So, definitely what happened in Persiraja was not because there were supporters waving the Palestinian flag, but about supporters making pitch invasions, which is not allowed. Moreover, we very strictly apply safety standards on the ground after the Kanjuruhan event,” he said.


In agreement with Erick, Chairman of the Legal Committee of PSSI Ahmad Riyadh confirmed that the raising of the Palestinian flag is not prohibited. Therefore, the PSSI does not sanction, but rather invite supporters to do so.

Riyadh invited supporters to show their solidarity on the stands and stands of the stadium. It's like what happened in a number of world leagues where soccer fans unfurled flags and banners in support of the Palestinian cause.

However, Riyadh requested that no supporters allowed to storm the pitch. “It should be noted that any form of pitch invasion is prohibited. Especially now we are undergoing a transformation after the Kanjuruhan tragedy where discipline regarding safety and safety codes is an absolute thing. Therefore spectators storming into the field are not allowed,” Riyadh said.

Riyadh added that PSSI's commitment to Palestine should not be doubted. The PSSI and the Palestinian Football Federation have a special relationship, even regularly holding collaborations and trials. Recently, Riyadh says Erick Thohir is offering Indonesia as home to Palestine when they host Australia in the 2026 World Cup qualifier this November.

“The PSSI's commitment to Palestine should not be doubted. As Ketum PSSI said, Indonesian cages are Palestinian cages too,” the PSSI Executive Committee member said.

PSSI has previously offered the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) to use a stadium in Indonesia as the home of their national team during the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers. PSSI General Chairman Erick Thohir earlier affirmed the commitment and full solidarity of Indonesian football to Palestine.

Therefore, in the midst of the conflict and humanitarian issues that are afflicting the Palestinian nation as a result of Israeli attacks, PSSI offered assistance by providing stadiums in Indonesia for the Palestinian national team to use.

“We are offering Indonesia a home for Palestine when they play their 2026 World Cup qualifying home match against Australia this month. Our cage, Palestinian enclosure as well,” Erick Thohir said.

The offer made by PSSI was greeted with rapture by the PFA. Through an electronic message, PFA Deputy Susan Shalabi appreciated the form of support and commitment provided

by the PSSI.

Earlier, via electronic mail, PSSI Secretary General Yunus Nusi wrote to PFA representative Ketum PSSI Erick Thohir expressing his deepest condolences and sense of solidarity to the Palestinian people affected by Israeli attacks.

PSSI understands that the Palestinian national team has a scheduled home game in the 2026 World Cup Qualifying Round 2 round against the Australian team on November 21. Therefore, Yunus said that Erick Thohir offered to allow Palestine to play in Indonesia.

“In light of what is happening in Palestine at this time, we humbly offer the Palestinian team to play against Australia on November 21 in Indonesia in the Round 2 Joint Qualifier. Mr. Erick Thohir, President of the Federation, will facilitate the Palestinian team in the field of accommodation, ground transportation and also the stadium for the match at his own expense,” Yunus wrote in his letter.

Susan Shalabi appreciates the condolences PSSI has given. According to him, it means a lot to the Palestinian people during difficult times.

“Your (football federation) president, Mr. Erick Thohir, has really shown his greatness, solidarity and generosity by offering accommodation, ground transportation, even stadiums for matches at his own expense. This gesture shows Indonesia's spirit of unity and support for the Palestinians,” Susan said.

As for the bid, Susan said it had chosen Kuwait as the arena for the games. “Please send our thanks to President (PSSI) Thohir for his kindness. The head coach and technical director chose Kuwait because of the proximity (to Palestine). We thank you wholeheartedly for your kind offer and look forward to the continuation of our inter-association cooperation,” she said.

In the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Palestine will face Lebanon in the opening match of Group E qualifying on November 16. Then, in the second game, Palestine will face the Australian team on November 21.

sumber : Antara
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