JAKARTA - FIFA has warned the Indonesian government not to interfere in the running of the country's domestic league, the sports ministry said Sunday as it rejected the accusation.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told sports minister Imam Nahrawi to allow the Indonesian Football Association, known by its Indonesian acronym PSSI, to manage its affairs "independently and without influence of any third parties", in an April 10 letter posted on the sports ministry's website Sunday.
The row is just the latest controversy to hit Indonesian football, which has been beset by problems in recent years including the cases of two foreign players who died after they fell ill but were unable to pay for treatment because they hadn't been paid for months.
The football association has also been in hot water with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation in recent years over poor management, corruption allegations, leadership tussles and poor security at major matches.
The letter accused the sport's ministry of trying to impose additional requirements on two clubs - Persebaya Surabaya and Arema Indonesia - preventing them from competing in the Indonesian Super League.
The football association temporarily suspended the league on Friday to negotiate a deal with the ministry that would allow the teams to compete.
A sports ministry statement on Sunday rejected the allegation saying that it was merely complying and enforcing FIFA's club licensing regulations "without any hidden agenda".
"FIFA's statement is completely wrong, because the conditions are mandatory and are not additional criteria," a ministry statement said.