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Mendieta's death a disgrace for Indonesian football

Diego Mendieta died a lonely man in an Indonesian hospital and the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) needs to be sanctioned for it according to FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke.

The Paraguayan player died on Monday, aged 32, from a virus called cytomegalovirus, which is usually successfully treated with anti-viral medication.

Mendieta, who finished with Indonesian club Persis Solo in June, was owed $12,500 (£7,500) in back pay by the club and could not afford a plane ticket home when he fell ill.

FIFPro, the global players' union, has said his death is a disgrace for Indonesian professional football and will investigate the matter whilst FIFA will also act according to Valcke.

"Unfortunately yet again, it seems that the set objectives will not be reached and we, therefore, anticipate that the PSSI will be sanctioned," Valcke wrote in a letter to Indonesian sports minister Andi Mallarangeng.

"We are fully aware that Indonesia is passionate about football and that sanctions will have a major impact. We have tried tirelessly to solve the problems, but we are afraid that there will be no choice unless the objectives are met or that significant progress has been made."

A FIFPro statement added: "FIFPro demands that the Indonesian football association make an end to the structural mismanagement of countless football clubs.

"It is a disgrace for the whole of professional football in Indonesia," further added Frederique Winia, secretary general of FIFPro's Asia division.

"I know countless stories of players who are intentionally not paid by their club and have to wait for months for their salary. But I have never before heard a story where a seriously ill player has been left completely to his fate by a club.

"I assume that both the club and the national football association of Indonesia realize that they have seriously failed and that they have much to explain, particularly to the family and relatives of Diego Mendieta. The least the club can do is to pay the arrears in salary to his family."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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