The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) is begging fans to behave during international matches after it was slapped with thousands in fines for crowds’ rowdy conduct, PSSI chief Djohar Arifin Husin told reporters on Tuesday.
The statement was released after the Asian Football Confederation on Monday imposed $15,000 in fines on the PSSI over repeated infringements during several matches where fans set off fireworks in the stands and exhibited poor behavior.
The most recent case saw fans throwing plastic bottles on the field during an Asian Cup home qualifier against Saudia Arabia on March 23.
The AFC also warned Indonesia if such problems continued to occur, its team would have to play its matches without spectators.
Rowdy crowds, Djohar said, harm the country’s image and could provoke the AFC to bar top players from visiting Indonesia.
“It is a serious problem that needs our attention because many world’s top players and clubs are on schedule to play in Indonesia, including the Netherlands’ national team next month. Top European club teams are also on set to play here in July. Such flaws will only jeopardize our image to the world. The worst is they might cancel their visits,” Djohar said.
“So I beg you all to show them that you are all good supporters, responsible fans. Show them that Indonesia is a safe place for world’s top teams to play in.”
Djohar said the fines require Indonesia to toughen up on controlling fans’ behavior.
“It is a bitter lesson Indonesia fans must learn from,” he said.
“We also hope organizers will put tighter security in every match in the near future.”