Java Cup organisers threaten to sue Everton over tournament withdrawal

The Toffees withdrew out of the Indonesian competition over a lack of assurances from those responsible about the reliability of the event following other drop outs

Indonesian officials in charge of the upcoming Java Cup competition have threatened to sue Everton after the Merseyside club dropped out.

The Toffees were due to participate in the tournament later this week, but due to the withdrawal of Turkish champions Galatasaray and the failure of officials to confirm their opposition, David Moyes' side have refused to travel to Jakarta.

Widja Widjajanto, CEO of the Java Cup organizer Liga Prima Indonesia Sportindo (LPIS), confirmed that talks with Everton were ongoing ahead of the tournament and those involved were still confident of their participation, only to see the Premier League club announce their withdrawal soon after.

“As of [Tuesday] night, we were still discussing with Everton and we didn’t have any impression that they would pull out," Widjajanto told reporters.

"But suddenly, on their website, they announced their withdrawal.

"We will take legal action as we’ve already made full payment to them.

“They are lying if they said they did not know the opponent in the tournament because in the contract Everton agreed to come regardless whoever they would play.”

LPIS has now appointed Belgian lawyer Patrick Mbaya to take legal action against both Everton and Galatasaray.

Mbaya said at a news conference on Wednesday that organisers demanded both clubs return the payment they had reportedly received or LPIS would take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Mbaya added: "We have transferred the full match fee to Everton.

"To Galatasaray, we made the first payment for them to book the flight."

"After getting information from the cancellation of both teams, we immediately sent a confirmation letter to each club, which claims for compensation as set out in the contract.

"The rights for both Galatasaray and Everton have been met. So we ask them for their responsibility.

"We've asked Everton to provide answers regarding their withdrawal. There was no answer past the deadline we provided at 15:00. Therefore, we are planning to sue through CAS."

The inaugural Java Cup, which was scheduled for July 26-29, had already been hit by Galatasaray's decision to pull out, leaving officials to line up Uruguay's Nacional as a replacement.

The tournament, also involving an Indonesian XI and a Malaysian XI, is due to be played at Jakarta's Gelora Bung Karno stadium, scene of a deadly stampede in November and fatal clashes between fans in May.

This debacle is the latest in a line of embarrassing events for Indonesian football, which has long been mired in controversy and was even threatened with suspension by Fifa following the launch of a rebel league.