Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) is focusing on preparing the national football team for future matches with the euphoria over their 2023 SEA Games win receding."Yes, I believe the euphoria has ended now. So, we will return to focus for the national team on the short-, middle-, and long-term developments," PSSI Chairperson Erick Thohir said after the 2023 SEA Games athletes' victory parade at Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Main Stadium here on Friday. The U-22 national football team claimed the gold medal in men's football at the SEA Games after 32 years, thus, the young footballers will be the backbone of the national team in the future, he said. The U-22 team will next participate in the 2026 World Cup qualifications next October and November and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup next year. For the Asian Cup, the PSSI will commence an intensive three-week training on December 20, Thohir added. cknowledging that observers might compare Indra Sjafri's performance coaching the U-22 national team with national football team coach Shin Tae-yong, who is yet to lead his team to victory, the PSSI head stressed that they have both been performing well. "Praise be to God, I have two master coaches, and we divide the jobs between Coach Shin Tae-yong and Coach Indra. I have also engaged in a heart-to-heart discussion with them; we must be united," he added. Thohir said that PSSI has resolved a potential issue with League 1 clubs, wherein they could not transfer their athletes to the national team because the tournament was still running. He affirmed that the League 1 clubs will fully support PSSI's efforts to improve the national team by ensuring that the tournament schedule does not clash with the national team's agenda. "League 1 have agreed with PSSI. If the national team needs (the athletes), League 1 will support it. During the TC (training centralization) phase for the AFC Cup in Qatar, League 1 will stop," he said.
Source: Antara News Agency