Sabtu 23 Mar 2024 11:21 WIB

Erick Thohir Reminds Southeast Asian Football Standards Are Rising

Indonesia must come into play if it does not want to fall behind.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and PSSI General Chairman Erick Thohir,
Foto: IG
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and PSSI General Chairman Erick Thohir,

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- PSSI General Chairman Erick Thohir warns that currently the football standards of Southeast Asian countries have increased, as seen in the latest matches of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. In Thursday's matches (21/3/2024), South Korea was held to a 1-1 draw by Thailand, while Singapore held China to a 2-2 draw.

“I see that ASEAN (Southeast Asia) countries have started to improve their football standards. We saw yesterday Korea the same Thailand series, Singapore the same China series. It means that if we are also just happy until today, yes we will not develop,” Erick said when he met after the test match of the Indonesia U-20 team against China U-20 at Madya Stadium, Gelora Bung Karno Complex, Jakarta, Friday (22/3/2024).

Baca Juga

In the match played Thursday, the Indonesian side won 1-0 over Vietnam in the 2026 World Cup Qualifier to keep the chances of qualifying for the next round.

“Just like I said when Vietnam was above us far 5-6 years ago we were confused. Yes, we need to keep rethinking ourselves. So not only the skill, but how the team plays and also you have to brave the hard physical,” he added.

Erick gave a hint that the two most recent naturalized players, Thom Haye and Ragnar Oratmangoen, are likely to play against Vietnam on Tuesday (26/3/2024).

“Thom Haye and Ragnar should be able to play on the 26th,” said the SOE minister.

On that occasion, Erick also said that five senior players were currently suffering from fever. Although he did not detail the players in question, one of the players whom Erick said was feverish was right winger Yakob Sayuri.

“Today I can report almost five of our players suffering from fever. Maybe the weather conditions are changing and we also see some of our players who play abroad the adaptation is quite not easy,” he said.

As for the five players with fever, Erick said he could not tell if the five would still be taken to Vietnam.

Indonesia currently inhabits the second place of the provisional Group F of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, with a collection of four points. Garuda's team is currently five points behind the top of the standings Iraq, and a one-point lead over nearest competitor Vietnam.

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