Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persipura Fans File LAWSUIT Over Club’s Relegation

Fallen Liga 1 Indonesia giants Persipura Jayapura are still unable to accept the fact that they’ve been relegated out of the top flight this season. Over the weekend, four Persipura fans filed a lawsuit at the Central Jakarta National Court, demanding action to be taken against direct relegation rivals PS Barito Putera, league runners-up Persib Bandung – who could only muster a 1-1 draw with Barito on the final day of the season, a result that sent Persipura down to the Liga 2, the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI), league operators PT Liga Indonesia Baru (PT LIB), league sponsors Bank Rakyat Indonesia, and even Persib striker David Da Silva, who missed a penalty in the draw with Barito.

The four Persipura fans – Emilianus Tikuk, Yan Piet Sada, Yulianus Dwaa, and Paul Finsen Mayor – filed their lawsuit at the Central Jakarta National Court on April 14th, with the quartet feeling that both Barito and Persib had conspired to play out a fixed match that ensured Persipura’s relegation.

Suspicions regarding Persipura being a victim of a league-wide conspiracy to send the Mutiara Hitam down were first raised by the club’s chairman Benhur Tomi Mano, who had stated his dissatisfaction over his team’s fate in the recently-concluded Liga 1 season a number of times.

Despite a number of fellow Persipura fans pointing out that the Mutiara Hitam‘s relegation was down to the management’s incompetency throughout the 2021/22 campaign as well as Persipura’s wretched form in the first half of the season underneath then-head coach Jacksen F. Tiago, Emilianus and his friends remain adamant that both Barito and Persib had fixed their match in order to relegate Persipura out of the Liga 1. The four demanded several points to be fulfilled in their lawsuit, which includes the annulment of Barito and Persib’s 1-1 final day draw, a replay of the said match with a live audience, the acknowledgment of the said match as being a match-fixing attempt, the cancellation of Persipura’s relegation and the reinstatement of the Mutiara Hitam in next season’s Liga 1, Da Silva to be banned from Indonesian football for his penalty miss, and a settlement of Rp1 billion.

Almost immediately the lawsuit was met with backlash from the Indonesian football fraternity, who not only argued that Persipura’s relegation was a result of poor management and their abysmal performance in the season’s first half but also the fact that the PSSI was lenient enough to only deduct three points off the Mutiara Hitam for their no-show in the match against Madura United in late February. As a result of Persipura walking away from their match with Madura United, the Mutiara Hitam were slapped with a 3-0 defeat and a points deduction, which normally would be nine points but Persipura only had three deducted off them – a deduction that would eventually contribute to their relegation.

When asked about the lawsuit, the management of Persipura, Persib, as well as the PSSI have stated that the quartet has the right to file their lawsuit for whatever reason that they have. Both Persib and the PSSI were also confident that there were no match-fixing in the final day of the 2021/22 season, with the Maung Bandung management even stating that they always uphold the values of fair play and sportsmanship in every match.