Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) defended Nil Maizar and his assistant Fabio Oliviera's position in the national team and insisted that both men will lead the team in their upcoming Group C Asian Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia on March 22.
Nil and Fabio's status was left hanging a week ago after PSSI chielf Djohar Arifin Husein announced the appointment of former China Under-20 coach Luis Manuel Blanco as the new national team coach.
But the duo's position in the national team became clearer after a PSSI executive meeting to evaluate the national team's recent performance, following their 5-0 lost to Jordan in a friendly and 1-0 lost to Iraq in the Asian Cup qualifiers opener.
“We have just concluded with our evaluation of the national team coach and we have decided that there shall not be any replacement for them, Nil Maizar and Fabio's status remains the same,” said national team coordinator Bob Hippy in a media statement to the press.
“We do not have the luxury of changing coaches at this moment. Such a move will only implicate the players. We are not like European teams where we have lots of players to choose from. We need unity in the team.”
Hours after the statement by PSSI on the status of both of their coaches, Nil announced his 33-man squad for their next Asian Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia.
The players will be coming together for centralised training starting March 10 in preparations for the match that will be played at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta.
Dutch Eerste Division player Stefano Lilipaly (Almere City) was included in the list but two of his teammates based in Netherlands, Tonnie Cusell (GVVV) and Jhonny van Beukering (FC Presikhaaf) did not make the cut.
Apart from Lilipaly, Nil also called-up 12 players from Indonesia Super League (ISL) and 16 players from the Indonesian Premier League (IPL).
The remaining four players, Bambang Pamungkas, Oktovianus Maniani, Stevie Bonsapia and Raphael Maitimo are not attached to any clubs at the moment.
Bob also revealed that the squad will not be playing any friendly matches prior to their clash with Saudi Arabia.
Indonesia 33-men squad:
1. Endra Prasetya (Persebaya IPL)
2. Wahyu Wijiastanto (Semen Padang)
3. Handi Ramdhan (PS AU/Persija IPL)
4. Nopendi (Persiba Bantul)
5. Novan Setya Sasongko (Semen Padang)
6. Andik Vermansah (Persebaya)
7. M. Taufiq (Persebaya IPL)
8. Vendri Mofu (Semen Padang)
9. Irfan Bachdim (Chonburi FC)
10. Rasyid Bakrie (PSM Makassar)
11. Saiful Indra Cahyo (Persema)
12. Mario Alberto Aibekop (PSBS Biak)
13. Wahyu Tri Nugroho (Persiba Bantul)
14. Deni Marcel (PSM Makassar)
15. Erol Iba (Persebaya IPL)
16. Titus Bonai (Semen Padang)
17. I Made Wirawan (Persib)
18. Victor Igbonefo (Arema ISL)
19. M. Robby (Persisam)
20. Zulkifli Syukur (Mitra Kukar)
21. Greg Nwokolo (Arema ISL)
22. Christian Warobay (Persidafon Dafonsoro)
23. Ahmad Bustomi (Mitra Kukar)
24. Ahmad Sembering (Gresik United)
25. Cristian Gonzales (Arema IPL)
26. Toni Sucipto (Persib Bandung)
27. M Ridwan (Persib Bandung)
28. Patrich Wanggai (Persipura)
29. Stefano Lilipaly (Almere City)
30. Bambang Pamungkas (Unattached)
31. Oktovianus Maniani (Unattached)
32. Stevie Bonsapia (Unattached)
33. Raphael Maitimo (Unattached)