AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Indonesia name Bima Sakti as new head coach

Picture credit: Bolasport

With the AFF Suzuki Cup fast approaching, the manager conundrum in the Indonesian camp is finally over. The Indonesian FA has announced the appointment of former player Bima Sakti as the head coach of the national team. Sakti takes over Tim Garuda for the course of the AFF Suzuki Cup. 

The past few months have been filled with confusion for Indonesia. The hosts of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup were fully expected to pose a challenge to the other Southeast Asian teams at the AFF Cup. That is until coach Luis Milla went ‘missing’.

Milla, who had coached Spanish national youth teams previously had been in charge of Tim Garuda for a year. However, when the Football Association of Indonesia offered him a contract extension, Milla went AWOL.

The Spaniard had to arrive in Indonesia with an answer by October 9, a deadline which was later extended till October 16. However, when the Spaniard missed the second consecutive deadline, the Indonesian FA took immediate measures.

The FA offered assistant coach and former player Bima Sakti a contract to manage the team till the end of the AFF Suzuki Cup. Along with Sakti, Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto and Kurnia Sandy were offered contracts as well for assistant and goalkeeping coach, respectively. A spokesperson commented that the FA is clear on the fact that there was no seriousness from Milla to come back to Indonesia, and hence countermeasures were taken.

Sakti has now presided over the training in the Indonesian camp and will lead his country into the coveted Southeast Asian tournament.