Erick Thohir Responds to Player Protests Naturalization: I don’t think anyone is being discriminated against!


PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir responded to the turmoil of naturalized player protests regarding the discourse on limiting players in League 1 and League 2 next season/Photo/PSSI

JAKARTA – A number of naturalized Indonesian players have protested against the discourse on limiting players in League 1 and League 2 next season. PSSI will only allow each participating club to have only two naturalized players. PSSI General Chairperson (Ketum) Erick Thohir also responded to the turmoil to calm all parties.

PSSI has floated a number of new rules that were born through the national football gathering in Surabaya last weekend. One of the decisions concerns limiting the quota of naturalized players, in which each club is not allowed to have more than two naturalized players.

Of course the new regulations provoke pros and cons. What is certain, the compact naturalized players do not accept this regulation even though it is only a discourse. They feel discriminated against if these regulations are actually implemented.

However, Erick Thohir stressed that the limitation on naturalized players was not meant to discriminate against naturalized players. This step will be taken for the advancement of the Indonesian National Team.

“I don’t think anyone is being discriminated against,” said Erick Thohir in Jakarta, quoted on Tuesday (7/3/2023).

“Currently there are 18 league 1 clubs in total, 28 in league 2. Now even league 2 can have 1 naturalized player, league 1 can also have 1. This means that if 18 + 28 is 46 naturalized, that’s a lot. If there are 24 national team squad, that means out of 46 we formed 2 national teams,” he continued.

Erick Thohir added, the discourse on regulations limiting foreign players was the result of deliberations from League 1 and 2 clubs without PSSI’s intervention. The Jakarta-born man also emphasized that he is not the type of leader who likes to discriminate.

“This is not a matter of discrimination. I have never been discriminated against, I am an IOC member, it is impossible to discriminate,” he said. “This is a rule that all of us have to follow for balance. At the gathering, the clubs in League 1 and League 2 agreed, it was not PSSI who gave instructions.”


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