Football Tribe SEA Editor
The Football Association of Indonesia, better known as the PSSI, were shocked by the news of the sudden and abrupt resignation of their secretary general, Ratu Tisha Destria, on Monday. Tisha, who became the first female secretary general of the PSSI in 2017, announced her resignation through a voice recording uploaded to her Instagram account. The recording did not disclose any reasons behind Tisha’s resignation, however she expressed her gratitude of being able to become an important part of the development of Indonesian football from the post-FIFA suspension days to the present.
“Dear friends, as of today, Monday, April 13, 2020, I will officially step down as PSSI’s secretary general. I am deeply thankful to have served fellow PSSI members, football players, coaches, referees, match commissioners, instructors, and football fans since July 27, 2017,” said Tisha within the recording.
Tisha then went on to describe the highlights of her tenure with the PSSI in detail, which includes establishing creative businesses, reviving women’s football within the Indonesian archipelago with the Liga 1 Putri (Women’s Liga 1), as well as securing the hosting rights for the upcoming 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Wrapping up her voice recording, Tisha encouraged people to continue supporting Indonesian football, and while her tenure as PSSI secretary general may be over, her love of football will continue as long as she lives.
In response to Tisha’s sudden resignation, PSSI chief Mochamad Irawan said that he and the federation respected her decision to resign.
“I respect Tisha’s decision and I thank her for all of her contributions to the federation during her tenure as secretary general,” said Irawan in a statement posted in PSSI’s official website.
The PSSI has yet to decide who will replace Tisha as their secretary general.
Co-founder of football statistics company LabBola, Tisha earned a Master of Arts degree from FIFA Master in 2013. The FIFA Master program was organized by the International Centre of Sport Studies in partnership with a number of universities, and offers programs such as Sport Humanities, Sport Management, and Sport Law.
In 2016, Tisha made her name known to the public after assuming the role of Director of Competitions and Regulations of the Torabika Soccer Championship (TSC), the unofficial league that was set up during the FIFA suspension of Indonesian football. The role earned Tisha the respect and admiration of PSSI’s provincial associations, city associations, as well as management of clubs all across Indonesia.
After FIFA lifted their suspension on Indonesian football, in 2017 Tisha was appointed directly by the PSSI chief at that time, Edy Rahmayadi, as the organization’s secretary general, replacing the outgoing Ade Wellington. Tisha retained her position after Edy was replaced by Irawan in 2019, however she has alluded that she might lose her role should Irawan decide to work without a secretary general during his tenure as PSSI chief, which ends in 2023.
Despite her charisma and overall warm personality, Tisha was not without her controversies. In early 2019, she was investigated by the Indonesian Anti Football Mafia Taskforce as a witness to a match-fixing allegation surrounding a Liga 2 match between PS Sleman and Madura FC, however she was cleared from all charges soon afterwards. Furthermore, in mid-2019 Tisha was asked to resign by supporters after her poor handling of the 2018-19 Piala Indonesia final 2nd leg postponement. The protests against her was so severe, she was barred from entering the Andi Mattalatta Stadium by supporters, and when she did enter the ground to spectate the match between hosts PSM Makassar and Persija Jakarta which was won by the former, she was jeered as a “mafia” by the attending crowd.
Other than her role within the PSSI, Tisha also served as the deputy of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) for 2019-2023 and a committee member within the Asia Football Confederation (AFC). Tisha’s role within the PSSI had helped the federation in earning the AFF Member Association of the Year award for 2018-19, which Tisha herself accepted during the AFF 2019 Awards Night at Hanoi, Vietnam, in November of 2019.