By Chris Wright
Two Indonesian Premier League clubs have been booted out of the league after they staged a frankly farcical spectacle on Sunday in which five own-goals were deliberately conceded in farcical fashion during the last ten minutes of the match.
With the game goalless until the final stretch, PSS Sleman beat PSIS Semarang 3-2 after both sides reportedly realised that a defeat would see them spared a play-off game against the infamous Pusamania Borneo FC – a fearsome club who are alleged to have ties with organised crime groups.
This from Eurosport:
For the first 80-odd minutes at AAU Stadium in Yogyakarta, both teams refused to attack and stroked the ball around aimlessly in midfield.
But when news trickled through at PS Borneo were set to come second in their group, PSS Sleman deliberately conceded two own-goals in quick succession to put PSIS Semarang 2-0 up with two minutes remaining.
Not to be undone, PSIS scored three own-goals of their own – two coming in injury-time – to ensure they came second in their group, thus avoiding Borneo in the play-offs.
However, the Indonesian Premier League were not amused at having their integrity of their league undermined in some laughable fashion and have since kicked both PSS and PSIS out of the 2014 league for at least the next two weeks while they investigate the match-rigging debacle – also threatening to relegate the pair from the top table if needs be.
Speaking after a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday night, league chairman Hinca Panjaitan had this to say:
“To enforce the law and keep the competition fair, PSS and PSIS have been disqualified.
“They harmed the basic principles of football, which is to maintain the fairness and integrity of the game.
“It was a conspiracy that violated the principles of sport – all players and team officials will be investigated further.
“If a club and its board are shown to be involved, there will be further sanctions. I do not rule out relegation.”