Indonesia appoints Ivan Kolev as two-year coach

Indonesia has recalled former national coach Ivan Kolev to take charge of the national squad following the sacking of Peter Withe last week. Kolev has received a two-year contract and will take the team to the AFC Asian Cup which Indonesia is hosting in July and to the 2007 South East Asian Games. He previously coached Indonesia from 2002 to 2004, which included the 2004 Asian Cup, and has recently been coaching Indonesian Premier League club Persipura Jayapura in Papua.

“The failure of the national team to make the semifinals of the ASEAN Football Championship has caused a deep sense of sadness not only for me but also to the whole of the Indonesian football-loving populace,” Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president Nurdin Halid was quoted by AFCMedia.

"As far as I'm concerned, the Peter Withe matter is over. I admit that I have not yet given him an official dismissal letter, which I'm planning on giving him tomorrow [Tuesday] but PSSI are officially appointing Ivan Kolev as the new national team coach. The reason for Kolev's appointment is that he understands the character of the Indonesian players, thus making the three months of preparation prior to the AFC Asian Cup 2007 a bit easier," he said.

On the PSSI website, Nurdin Halid explained further that PSSI had a right to terminate a coach's contract "if he can’t reach the target” adding that, beside the AFF Championship, "Withe also failed" at the 2005 SEA Games in the Philippines." He said while PSSI had not given Kolev a target for next Asian Cup "he has to lead the team to the second round [and] at least if we lose, we lose with honour.”