PSSI spoke about three BRI Liga 1 2021 clubs not being handled by AFC Pro licensed coaches. They are Persiraja Banda Aceh, Bali United, and PSIS Semarang.
In the 2021 Liga 1 regulations, it is regulated about the minimum standard of licenses that can handle clubs. Only AFC Pro, UEFA Pro and other licenses are considered equivalent.
The coaches who did not meet the licensing standards were Hendri Susilo (Persiraja), Stefano Cugurra alias Teco (Bali United), and Imran Nahumarury (PSIS Semarang caretaker).
“At least an AFC Pro Coaching certificate, UEFA Pro License, or the equivalent that has received recognition from the AFC as evidenced by a RECC (Recognition of Experience and Current Competence) document;” write article 32 point 2.d in the regulation of Liga 1 2021.
Hendri Susilo and Imran Nahumarury both have new AFC A licenses, the standard of which is below AFC Pro. While Teco’s license was obtained from Conmebol (South American Football Confederation) which was not recognized as equivalent to the AFC Pro license by the AFC.
PSSI said, Hendri Susilo had actually intended to take the AFC Pro license in 2020. However, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 situation. In 2020, all national football activities are almost completely paralyzed.
Meanwhile, Imran Nahumarury is PSIS caretaker after Dragan Djukanovic resigned as head coach shortly before the 2021 Liga 1 starts. It is difficult for PSIS to find a replacement coach in the midst of tight time and various strict requirements for foreigners to enter Indonesia in the current COVID-19 situation.
“Several coaches who handle clubs have registered as participants for the AFC Pro license,” said PSSI Secretary General Yunus Nusi explaining the issue of three coaches not meeting the licensing standards in Liga 1 2021.
“In the Manager Meeting with the club, PSSI accommodated the club’s wishes, which due to the pandemic situation had not been able to bring in a coach. And PSSI has also postponed the implementation of AFC Pro in 2020 due to the pandemic,” he explained.
In the meantime, they will be allowed to continue their work with their respective clubs. But Yunus Nusi did not answer how long they were allowed to train these clubs.
“The plan is that this year we will continue the AFC Pro licensing program. We are still waiting for approval from the AFC,” said Yunus Nusi.
The dispute over the license issues of these three coaches has been in the spotlight. PSSI and PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) are considered not to carry out their own regulations.
Bali United, for example, circumvented this problem in the opening match of Liga 1 at the Persik Kediri meeting, Friday (27/8/2021). In the line-up list (DSP) released by the organizing committee, Teco’s name was registered as manager, not head coach.
The head coach of Bali United in the DSP is held by Yogie Nugraha who is listed as an interim coach (caretaker). In fact, Yogie Nugraha is known as a physical trainer.