Report: Indonesian football to lose funding

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- The Indonesian government reportedly plans to strip funding for its national football association after a series of scandals -- including a 10-0 loss to Bahrain that led to an investigation into what FIFA called an "unusual outcome."

The loss to Bahrain in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match was the biggest in the national team's history, and much of the blame fell on the association (PSSI), which has been in turmoil for years.

Without a cash injection, it will likely descend further into crisis.

"We have no choice since it looks like the PSSI's infighting won't be ending anytime soon," Andi Mallarangeng, the minister of youth and sports, was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe newspaper.

"It was not the country's best squad that was humiliated by Bahrain last week. It was a team assembled under the shadow of discrimination, as the PSSI only called up players from a certain league."

Until things change, he said, funding will stop.

"I think the funding termination is reasonable owing to their bad performances so far," Bernard Limbong, a spokesman for the Indian football federation, told Antara news agency. "The policy is expected to improve the performance of the national teams."

The announcement came after FIFA, football's world governing body, announced last week it was launching an investigation into the "unusual outcome" of Bahrain's win.

Bahrain needed to make up a nine-goal deficit on Qatar in the group standings to have a chance of advancing to the next round.

It also needed Qatar to lose its last match, but the Qataris scored an 83rd-minute equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Iran to instead reach the next stage of the Asian qualifying tournament.

"The important thing is that if there are suspicions you have to investigate it," FIFA vice president Prince Ali said during a trip to London. "It might just be a coincidence. However, there might be something behind it."

Indonesia's performance has been abysmal.

It had lost all five previous group matches, conceding 16 goals while scoring just three. It also fielded several inexperienced international players in Bahrain after suspending others who play for clubs in the breakaway Indonesian Super League.

The Indonesian football association recognizes the Indonesian Premier League, and the dispute jeopardized the participation of ISL winner Persipura Jayapura in the Asian Champions League last month. Persipura required a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling in order to face Adelaide United in the continental club competition.

The PSSI launched an unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, but FIFA removed Indonesia from the contest midway through the bid process when football officials failed to persuade the government to provide hosting guarantees.