Sports

Indonesian teams get red card after five own goals

JAKARTA: Two Indonesian teams have been disqualified from an end-of-season tournament after five own goals were scored in a single match, an official said Wednesday, as both sides sought to lose in a bid to avoid facing a team reportedly backed by gangsters.

Video footage showed goalkeepers from the two clubs, PSS Sleman and PSIS Semarang, making half-hearted attempts to stop shots and walking away from the goal as the ball approached during Sunday’s match in Yogyakarta, on the main island of Java.

PSS Sleman eventually ‘won’ 3-2 — they conceded two own goals during the match, but were handed victory by their opponents who managed to allow three own goals in the final three minutes.

The teams were both trying to avoid playing against Pusamania Borneo FC in the semi-finals of the Premier Division’s final rounds as the team is believed to be backed by gangsters, local media reported.

The Jakarta Globe newspaper said that Pusamania fans recently attacked the coach of a visiting team, Persis, who promptly abandoned the planned game and took the first flight home.

The Indonesian Football Association said PSS Sleman and PSIS Semarang were being thrown out of the final rounds and they had requested that the semi-finals and finals be halted while an investigation takes place.

“We have disqualified the two clubs from the competition,” Hinca Panjaitan, the association’s disciplinary chief, told AFP.

He said that an investigation has been launched “to find the actor behind this drama” and harsher sanctions could be imposed.

PSS Sleman and PSIS Semarang were playing in the final rounds of this year’s Premier Division, one notch below the top-flight Super League.

The winner of the division is decided by a final mini-tournament between the top teams at the end of the season, not simply on which side has the most points.

The match was just the latest controversy to hit the chaotic world of Indonesian football, which has been beset by numerous problems in recent years, from leadership tussles to foreign players dying after complaining of going unpaid. – AFP

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