Indonesian Football Experts Decry Influx of Foreign Stars

Indonesian Team Faces Crucial Matches Against Vietnam: Expert Criticism and Concerns for Local Players

The Indonesian national football team is gearing up for two crucial matches against Vietnam this March in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Coach Shin Tae-yong has called up 13 players from abroad, nine of whom play in Europe. Despite Indonesia’s perceived superiority over Vietnam, football expert Justinus Lhaksana sees this reliance on foreign-based players as a setback for local talent.

Lhaksana lamented the diminishing role of Liga 1 players in the national team, stating that the lack of opportunities for domestic players reflects poorly on Indonesian football. As the squad is set to be trimmed down from 28 to 23 players ahead of the first match on March 21, many Liga 1 players are expected to be left out in favor of naturalized players.

The expert emphasized the importance of nurturing local talent to build a strong football foundation, urging authorities to address this issue for the betterment of Indonesian football. The upcoming matches against Vietnam will serve as a litmus test for the Indonesian team, with a spotlight on the balance between foreign-based and domestic players.

As the footballing world watches with interest, the Indonesian team faces a critical juncture in their quest for World Cup qualification. The clash with Vietnam will not only test their skills on the pitch but also highlight the broader implications of player selection and development strategies.

With expectations running high and scrutiny intensifying, the Indonesian national team must navigate these challenges to secure positive results against their Vietnamese counterparts. The outcome of these matches could shape the future trajectory of Indonesian football, underscoring the significance of striking the right balance between foreign talent and homegrown players.

As the countdown to the showdown with Vietnam begins, all eyes will be on the Indonesian squad to deliver a performance that reflects both their potential and the evolving landscape of football in the region. The stakes are high, and the spotlight is firmly fixed on the players as they prepare to make their mark in these pivotal encounters.

Denis Hardin

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