Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persipura Threatened with Forfeit over Madura United No-Show

Persipura Jayapura are currently staring at a possible 3-0 loss and a nine-point deduction from forfeit following their failure to attend their Liga 1 Indonesia game against Madura United on Monday night.

The Mutiara Hitam‘s clash against the Laskar Sapeh Kerrab at the Kapten I Wayan Dipt Stadium was a rescheduled match from Matchweek 22, which was postponed following 24 COVID-19 cases at the Madura United camp earlier this month.

This time, however, it was Persipura who reported COVID cases prior to the match, with six of their players and three staff members being tested positive for the virus in the league’s pre-match testing. The Mutiara Hitam had requested to the league to have their match with Madura United postponed again, however, unlike the last time, Persipura still have more than 14 players at their disposal – hence Monday’s rescheduled match receiving the green light by the league.

Despite this, Persipura remained adamant to sit the match out due to the absences of the six players and three staff members.

The result was a confusing scene at the Dipta minutes prior to the supposed kick-off. The referee and his assistants were preparing the pre-match proceedings as usual, while the Madura United players have taken to the field wearing their pink third jerseys. The Persipura camp was completely absent though, which resulted in awkward scenes where Madura United players warmed up by themselves, consulting the referee in regards to whether the match will go on as planned or not, before taking pictures with one another following confirmation that the match will be called off.

League operators PT Liga Indonesia Baru (PT LIB) have forwarded the match commissioner’s reports on the aborted match to the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI)’s Disciplinary Committee.

“After receiving the match’s commissioner’s report on the match, we’ve reported everything to the PSSI and let their Disclipinary Committee decide on the fate of the Persipura-Madura United match. We’ve done this in accordance with the regulations,” said PT LIB General Director Akhmad Hadian Lukita, as quoted from Kompas.

The decision regarding the fate of the Persipura-Madura United match now falls into the hands of the PSSI’s Disclipinary Committee. The best case scenario for Persipura is for them to be handed a 3-0 forfeit by the federation, however it is possible that further sanctions might befell Angel Alfredo Vera’s men. This includes a heavy fine, a nine-point deduction – which would severely hamper Persipura’s fight against relegation this season, a transfer ban, and even relegation to the Liga 2.