Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persipura Wonderkid Todd Ferre Handed ONE YEAR Ban

In a move that sent shockwaves throughout the Indonesian footballing fraternity, Persipura Jayapura wonderkid Todd Rivaldo Ferre, regarded as one of Indonesia’s best young talents in recent years, was handed a one-year playing ban by the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI)’s Disciplinary Committee.

Initially, the PSSI refused to disclose further on what caused Todd to receive such a lengthy ban, other than stating that Todd has “demonstrated unsportsmanlike conduct whilst protesting the referee’s decision” in Persipura’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bali United on November 5th.

This caused the Indonesian footballing fraternity to go up in arms in Todd’s defense, slamming the PSSI and their Disciplinary Committee for what they perceived as an unreasonable sentence that ended the talented young winger’s season prematurely.

However, Twitter user @PramuajiAjay, whose former co-worker happened to be at the Sultan Agung Stadium in Bantul, Special Region of Yogyakarta during the match, tweeted out what had actually happened between Todd and the referee based on the eyewitness account of his former co-worker.

“Todd had punched the referee in the jaw after the match, which earned him a straight red card,” tweeted @PramuajiAjay, “He then pursued the referee, shouting ‘mafia’ at him while doing so, before preventing the referee from entering his dressing room and attempting to hit him again.”

The incident as described by @PramuajiAjay’s tweet was confirmed by PSSI Disciplinary Committee chief Erwin Tobing on Wednesday night.

“We’ve sentenced Todd with a 1-year playing ban on November 17th. He had violated Article 50 Section 1 Point B of the 2018 PSSI Disciplinary Code, which relates to unsportsmanlike conduct,” said Erwin, as quoted from Bolasport, “He had protested a referee’s decision by saying inappropriate words about him and physically attacking him. Todd also had attempted to block the referee from entering his dressing room, but thankfully the situation did not escalate further. So we have decided on that in accordance to the rules that we already have.”

Erwin added that Todd’s lengthy sentence serves as a deterrent for other players from attempting any similar violent conduct towards referees.

“Even if Todd has above average skills, even if Todd had played abroad, if he couldn’t conduct himself on the pitch then he’ll get punished to discipline him,” said Erwin, “This punishment will apply for all competitions underneath the PSSI.”

“If someone wants to make a career out of football, then focus on playing football,” added Erwin, “If a footballer decides to punch and hit people, then he should make a switch to boxing instead.”

Todd’s outburst, which occurred after Ricky Fajrin’s goal in the seventh minute of a 4-minute long injury time had condemned Persipura to their fifth defeat in a dismal run of six straight losses, served to fulfil a somewhat ominous premonition about him by former Persipura head coach Jacksen F. Tiago.

“When we talk about Todd, we shouldn’t doubt about his skills as he has proven himself to be a capable player,” Jacksen said in a September 9th interview as quoted from Tribunnews, “He’s won the Best Young Player of the 2019 Liga 1 season and his excellent form with us has been rewarded with a loan move to a better league, with Lampang FC at the Thai League 2.”

“But Todd should learn how to control and manage his temper and emotions better,” continued Jacksen, who was recently sacked from his post at Persipura, “That’s his only weakness. If he could maintain his emotional stability, then he shouldn’t have any problems at all in the future.”

Unfortunately, with a lack of any video footage of the incident as Todd’s squabble with the referee had occurred off-camera after the Bali United match, any evidence relating to the incident was only limited to @PramuajiAjay’s tweet as well as Erwin’s confirmation of the incident described in the tweet. With the PSSI’s recent track record of unreliability, the Indonesian football fraternity is having a hard time ascertaining whether what happened to Todd was a genuine violent outburst, or an attempt from the federation to unjustly undermine one of Indonesia’s brightest young talents.

There’s some hope for Persipura and Todd, though. Both the Persipura management and Todd can appeal for the latter’s sentence to be reduced through the PSSI’s own Appeals Committee. After all, even players who had received life bans from football in Indonesia found themselves playing again after their appeal was granted.

Take Aldo Claudio for example. The 23-year old defender was previously banned for life by the PSSI after the then-Persiwa Wamena player had violently attacked the referee in his team’s 2-1 defeat away at Persegres Gresik United in the 2018 Liga 2 Indonesia season.

However, in 2020, Aldo filed an appeal for his punishment, which was granted by the Appeals Committee. The appeal allowed Aldo to return to the beautiful game, and he’s now representing Liga 1 side Persik Kediri this season.

Should Todd appeal his punishment and the Appeals Committee reduce his sentence, we should see the pacy winger strutting his magic on the pitch sooner than later.