Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persija, Three Other Clubs Slapped with Registration Bans by FIFA

Liga 1 Indonesia side Persija Jakarta has been handed a registration ban for three transfer windows alongside three other Indonesian clubs by FIFA, as revealed by the federation’s official website early this week.

FIFA released a full list of clubs from around the world who are being sanctioned with registration bans by the federation, with five Indonesian clubs being included.

Other than Persija, there’s also the currently-inactive Persiwa Wamena, who had been sanctioned since 2022, as well as Liga 2 Indonesia sides Persiraja Banda Aceh, Persikab Kabupaten Bandung, and Sada Sumut FC.

The five clubs are not allowed to register any new players for the next three transfer windows, as well as being banned from signing any players during that time period.

While there were no official reasons on why the five clubs were sanctioned, it’s a possibility that long-standing financial issues were the reason behind it.

Persija’s well-known financial dispute with Marko Simic could’ve been the factor behind FIFA’s sanction towards the Macan Kemayoran, with the Croat striker – who has since re-signed for Persija in the 2023/24 off-season – alleging that the club’s management had failed to pay him for a year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for Persiraja, the club was rocked with financial issues following relegation from the Liga 1 in 2022, which saw Nazaruddin Dek Gam resigning as president and the club being taken over by Islamic cleric/businessman Zulfikar Syahabuddin, before Dek Gam subsequently regained control of the club prior to the 2023/24 campaign.

Persikab’s financial woes were also well-documented during the pandemic, with players going unpaid for months, despite the club’s management denying any financial arrears, while it was unknown on why Sada Sumut was also included in the list.

As for Persiwa, financial issues had been plaguing the former Indonesian top-flight runners-up since the mid to late 2010s, which saw them merging with Cirebon-based amateur side Bina Putra FC before subsequently going on a lengthy hiatus that lasted until this day.

So far, Persija and Persikab have vowed to sort out any issues pertaining to their registration bans, while Persiraja are waiting for the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI) to decide on the matter.

Other than the Indonesian quintet, several notable Southeast Asian teams have also been included in the list. Defunct clubs Global FC (Philippines), Than Quang Ninh (Vietnam), Melaka United (Malaysia), Perlis FA (Malaysia), Muangkan United (Thailand), Ubon United (Thailand), and the recently-dissolved Udon Thani FC (Thailand) were also included, as well as well-known crisis clubs Kelantan FC and Sarawak United (both from Malaysia) and, surprisingly yet rather predictably considering their recent issues, Malaysian duo Kedah Darul Aman and Kuala Lumpur City FC.

Beyond Southeast Asia, several other notable names were also included in the list, such as Hyderabad FC (India), Esteghlal FC (Iran), Bunyodkor FC (Uzbekistan), Qadsia SC (Kuwait), Saudi Arabian quartet Al Faisaly, Al Wehda, Al Fateh, and Al Shabab, and Chinese clubs Beijing Guoan, Shenzhen FC, Dalian Pro, Beijing Renhe, Guizhou FC, Tianjin Tianhai, Hebei FC, and Wuhan Yangtze River – all of them apart from Guoan have already gone defunct.