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Indonesia braces for sanctions from FIFA

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -The Indonesian government set up a taskforce Tuesday to deal with possible sanctions from FIFA following its failure to merge two rival football associations.

Acting Youth and Sports Minister Agung Laksono said that the five-member team will consult with the world governing body, which had set Dec. 10 as the deadline for settling the disputes.

"This team will begin work tonight, to with FIFA in order to avoid sanction against Indonesia," Laksono told a news conference. He added that the team also would discuss a possible takeover by the government in accordance with the law on national sports system.

"This is needed to prevent intervention by the government, because we have the law, but FIFA has its own rules," Laksono said. "Therefore the taskforce has to consult first with FIFA and AFC."

On Monday, the FIFA-sanctioned All-Indonesia Soccer Association, or PSSI, and the breakaway Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee, or KPSI, each held a separate congress in different cities.

The PSSI meeting was held in Palangkaraya and was attended by representatives from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation. Meanwhile, the KPSI staged its congress in another hotel in the capital Jakarta.

The government did not recognize the meetings, saying they failed to comply with an agreement they signed in Kuala Lumpur in June, which stipulates that the KPSI would be dissolved at the yearend congress.

FIFA is expected to rule of the Indonesian case on Friday at its executive committee meeting in Tokyo.

The rift between the football bodies has been blamed in part for the death last week of Paraguayan striker Diego Mendieta, who played for Indonesian club Persis Solo last year.

The 32-year-old Mendieta died of a viral infection at a hospital in Solo. He had wanted to return to Paraguay where he had a wife with two children, but was unable to as his wages of about $12,500 for four months were not paid.

The PSSI had refused to tackle the case, arguing that the club had competed in a league which it did not recognize.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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