Football Tribe SEA Editor
Through a post on his Instagram, PS TIRA-Persikabo’s Finnish midfielder Petteri Pennanen has announced that he’s leaving the Bogor Regency-based club on mutual consent. The 29-year old player cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason behind his departure from the Laskar Padjadjaran.
“My journey in Indonesia is over,” Pennanen wrote in his heartfelt Instagram post, “When I signed for Persikabo in January I never imagined that this story will end up like this. We were able to play only 3 league games before COVID-19 stopped the league in March and changed too many things that it was not an option for me to stay anymore.”
Despite the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI) having plans to restart the season this October, Penannen felt that a move away from the Liga 1 would be more viable for his career in the near future and because of that he stood firm by his decision. The midfielder, who had started in all three of TIRA-Persikabo’s games so far this season, took the opportunity to thank everyone at TIRA-Persikabo and the club’s fans in his farewell post on Instagram.
“I want to thank all the players, coaches, management, and staff who worked at the club,” Penannen wrote, “And especially the fans who were really amazing! I wish you all the very best and may we meet again in the future!”
Penannen became only the third Liga 1 foreign player to leave his club in the 2020 season, following Persela Lamongan duo Jasmin Mecinovic and Shunsuke Nakamura, however he was the first Liga 1 foreign player to leave his club due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Finn had previously arrived at the Pakansari Stadium during the pre-season, having won the 2019 edition of the Finnish top flight, the Veikkausliiga, with Kuopion Palloseura (KuPS), where he was the captain. Penannen also had experience at a number of European clubs throughout his career, among them Dutch side FC Twente and Polish outfit Miedz Legnica.
It was reported that Penannen has refused a significant pay-cut from TIRA-Persikabo that was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which influenced his decision to leave the Laskar Padjadjaran. Penannen was also reported to be open for a return to his old club KuPS for the remainder of the 2020 season.