TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The coach of the national under-23 football team or Timnas U-23, Indra Sjafri, recalled his experience of being approached by soccer mafia. The case occurred when he led the Bali United club for Indonesian League.
Indra told Tempo that he had been contacted by someone ahead of the match against Persela Lamongan football club. “I had known that he was mafia. He had not said a word yet but I instantly yelled at him,” said Indra at Jakarta, last Wednesday.
The 56-year-old trainer admitted having known the caller. Refusing to mention the name, Indra said that the person was currently implicated in the PSSI match-fixing case in Indonesian League. “He is now in a detention center,” Indra added.
Indra explained that he had a strategy to prevent the national team from soccer mafia and that the main key laid in the players. Thus, he conducted a direct interview with each player before assigning them to his squad.
Indra Sjafri also held a psychology test to his players in the national team in a bid to better and easier handle them. “Mafia cannot bring me in. I’m not a slave to money,” he underlined.
SAPTO YUNUS | ANGELINA ANJAR | ADITYA BUDIMAN