Exclusively, Mochamad Iriawan's Spirit, Alias Iwan Bule, Brings PSSI To Cross The Pandemic

For more than a year the competition at PSSI has been stopped due to the corona pandemic. Mochamad Iriawan or more familiarly called Iwan Bule as the General Chairman of PSSI (All Indonesian Football Association) could not do much. Football competitions, like other activities that gather time, are prohibited while the corona pandemic is still rampant. The competition has officially stopped since March 16, 2020. After the competition was stopped for more than a year and six days, and the situation began to slope, football activities were again held through a tournament titled the Menpora Cup and went smoothly with a strict process. Moreover, the next agenda, to the VOI Team, he shared his story.


Among the main sports organizations in this country, PSSI is the organization that gets the most attention. Because football is the most popular sport in Indonesia besides badminton.

Most football matches are watched live in stadiums or watched via television or streaming at home. The situation began to change after the COVID-19 virus penetrated Indonesia and many other countries that were exposed to this virus.

PSSI has just held an Ordinary Congress in 2021. Iwan Bule and PSSI administrators and constituents with voting rights gathered at the Raffles Hotel, Jakarta, Saturday 29 May. From the results of this congress, one of the flagship programs that will be implemented is the 2021-2022 Liga 1 season.

The competition, which adopted the concept of the Menpora Cup, which was successfully held some time ago, will begin in July 2021. "We will prepare for the start of the Liga 1 and Liga 2 competitions which will begin in early July 2021. Everything will be prepared in such a way, and a meeting will be held with club administrators. Liga 1 will be followed by 18 clubs with 306 matches during one season. Because all clubs will meet, "explained Iwan.

While League 2, will also be held with a shorter duration. “League 2 has 24 clubs that enter. Competition time is also looser. For Liga 1, it will run for almost 10 months, while in Liga 2 the duration of the competition is only 5 months," he added.

It is not without reason that Komjen. Pol. (Ret.) Dr. Drs. H. Mochamad Iriawan, SH., MM., MH used the Menpora Cup as a model. Because the pattern of competition that was carried out was proven to be right with very strict health protocols and the matches were held without spectators.

However, for League 1 and League 2, Iwan and the team at PSSI will still review the proposal so that the match in the stadium can be watched by a limited number of spectators.

In fact, said Iwan, with a limited audience, they still heed the prokes. The exact number of spectators allowed to the stadium and the capacity of the stadium will be announced after a comprehensive study is carried out. On the other hand, this limited audience can provide information to the world about the quality of handling COVID-19 in Indonesia.

"Another goal that can be shown to the world by being allowed to watch football matches in a limited number is information to the world that the handling of COVID-19 in Indonesia has been quite successful," said the holder of the National Police Para Falls Brevet and Bhayangkara Bahari Brevet to Iqbal Irsyad, Edy Suherli, Savic Rabos, and Irfan Meidianto from VOI when visited at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Jakarta complex, not long ago. Here is the full excerpt.

Mochamad Iriawan alias Iwan Bule. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

Now it's still a period of the corona pandemic, what is the PSSI team's training program like?

Even though the current situation in our place is still a corona pandemic, activities at PSSI have started to run. At the senior level continue to train with the coach. While today the national team aged 16 are also undergoing selection. Under these circumstances we continue to use strict health protocols for all players, coaches and officials. Before they go to the field there is an antigen test first. Likewise, when they come from their respective areas they do the same test. So the senior and junior PSSI players are treated the same, the process continues. No compromise on that.

Not long ago, the Menpora Cup event was held, what was the evaluation for the implementation of the match in the midst of this pandemic?

We just held a Menpora Cup match. This is history for the federation (PSSI) to hold matches during the corona pandemic. Many think this tournament is impossible to hold. But it turns out that this can be done with the implementation of strict health protocols. Spectators were not in the stadium and most of the club's supporters watched from their homes. Even if anyone is allowed to come to the stadium, they have been tested for antigen and tested negative for COVID-19. There are no exceptions, I also did an antigen test and it was negative before coming to the stadium. At 4 pm I checked the stadium and then returned to the hotel, before returning to the stadium to watch the antigen test match again. Alhamdulillah in general the implementation of this event went smoothly. There was not the slightest breach of health protocols.

We thank all the club supporters who participated in this Menpora Cup tournament. It turns out that supporters can also comply with the rules issued by the federation (PSSI) not to come to the stadium. If you want to watch it at home without crowding.

We must carry out continuous education so that supporters and fans can comply with the rules applied in this case regarding health protocols. And it's an honor for us to see what happened, it turns out that Indonesian football supporters can be orderly too.

Even though there are a few 'stains' during the victory parade supporters?

Yes, it becomes an important note for us. At that time there were those who were euphoric on one side and some who were disappointed on the other. Finally the incident occurred. We are very sorry, this shouldn't have happened.

Mochamad Iriawan alias Iwan Bule. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

During this Corona Pandemic, what programs have been delayed from PSSI?

During the year we could not carry out activities because they were postponed. From 16 March 2020 all football activities in the form of coaching and competitions have stopped. And we will start again on March 21, 2021. However, the national team activities will continue. The national team can go to Croatia and several other countries for friendly matches even though it is still in a pandemic atmosphere.

Because the competition has been stopped for a long time, the impact is very large for the development of Indonesian football. The competition stopped for more than a year, to be exact a year and five days. So there are a lot of impacts for Indonesian football.

Menpora Cup successfully completed, what are the important notes for this event?

For the implementation of activities, I see that everything is in accordance with the SOP. There is already a guidebook for the implementation of football events during the pandemic from FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association / International Football Federation) which was forwarded to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation / Asian Football Federation) and recently forwarded to PSSI. We will adjust the guide again to the situation and conditions in Indonesia. Everything is in accordance with health protocols. Several times, the Minister of Youth and Sports also witnessed the implementation of this event firsthand. The Minister of Health also carried out a check and the results were in accordance with the health protocol.

But in terms of the game from each club that I participated in, I saw that it was not optimal. Yes, it was because they took a long break because there was no competition. They seemed surprised to see the field. Even the referee I saw was also surprised when he first led the match. However, after a few games it was back to normal. What has decreased the most is the stamina of the players. What stands out in each club is that there are national players. Because they keep practicing even though there is no competition. They are still honed and trained, so they perform well.

In the Menpora Cup event, there was an opportunity to use an outside referee, what about domestic referees if you want to compare?

I observe our referees with outside referees are not much different. It's just that our referees who have a license from FIFA are only a few people. So when I wanted to propose the application of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) we couldn't, because the requirement was that 12 referees had to get a license from FIFA. We will educate our referees so they can get a license from FIFA. For this program, the Ministry of Youth and Sports will help. So that later we can meet the standards of FIFA and we can also apply VAR here. So our referee is okay.

What else will PSSI do in the future?

We will prepare for the start of the League 1 and League 2 competitions which will begin in early July 2021. Everything will be prepared in such a way, and a meeting will be held with the existing club management. Liga 1 will be followed by 18 clubs. There will be 306 matches during a season. Because all the clubs will meet. Liga 2 has 24 clubs that enter. Competition time is also looser. Liga 1 will roll for almost 10 months, while in Liga 2 the duration of the competition is only 5 months. What's the pattern like? Later there will be a manager meeting and special meetings with the club. Everything remains with the process and without an audience.

For a limited audience what are the opportunities?

There's a lot of demand for a limited audience. This is still under study, whether the number that can watch is based on a percentage of the capacity of a stadium. For example stadium A is a thousand and the bigger stadium B can be two thousand. We are currently reviewing that, it will be announced later if this limited audience option can be implemented. Another goal that can be shown to the world by being allowed to watch football matches in a limited number is information to the world that the handling of COVID-19 in Indonesia is quite successful. Politically it is good for our country in the eyes of the outside world.

In the future, the vaccination program must continue to run for those who have not. We hope that those who come to the stadium really have been vaccinated. In addition, health checks with antigen or g-nose will also be carried out. Anyway, those who come to the stadium are really negative ones, starting from players, coaches, officials and so on.

It does not feel PSSI has crossed the age of 91 years. What does this age mean?

Because we are still in the atmosphere of COVID-19, we recently celebrated PSSI's anniversary in a simple way. We celebrate with a memorial at the Soeratin Sosrosoegondo Monument in Solo. There is also an orphanage. We together with all PSSI administrators and friends who are members of football people will try our best to give the best for Indonesian football. To realize all this is not as easy as turning the palm of the hand, there are many processes that must be passed.

What about the recruitment of foreign players or naturalization, will it still be implemented?

There are many players who are currently playing in foreign clubs who have mixed Indonesian blood. They played well. There are also our players who are signed by clubs from other countries.

So it's not naturalization, he does have Indonesian mixed blood. For naturalization whether there will be or not, we leave it to the national team coach. Hopefully now is the time for Indonesian football to perform better. Personally I want as many of our players as possible who can play at a big club. Because he can gain knowledge. Once again this is a momentum, hopefully our football can take part in the international world. We will need you players who have an advantage over the others. If we see the spirit of our players who are so passionate, we are optimistic.

Iwan Bule, the Betawi Child Who Is Not Out of Time
Mochamad Iriawan alias Iwan Bule in the midst of the PSSI U-16 Team players. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

Si Doel, a character in the film Si Doel The Movie directed by Rano Karno, can be described as an outmoded figure. However, the figure of Mochamad Iriawan alias Iwan Bule, who is also a Betawi child like Si Doel, is far from having that impression. Don't believe it? Let's look at some of these data and facts.

The educational path that Novita Ariyanti's husband went through was quite bright, his career in the National Police which made his name was also brilliant. He even became the ruler (plt Governor of West Java) even if only for a few months. And after retiring from the Police, the father of Mochamad Probandono Bobby Danuardi, Bianca Lusella Iriawan, Syahbana Bisma Iriawan, Mochamad Nathan Ananda and Milad Berryl Iriawan continued their service at the National Defense Institute aka Lemhanas. His position at Lemhanas is also not a joke, he occupies the position of Main Secretary of Lemhanas.

His eldest son, Mochamad Probandono Bobby Danuardi, followed in his footsteps to serve in the ranks of the Indonesian National Police. The only difference is that Iwan is assigned to the detectives, while Bobby is in the traffic department. And this is a directive from Iwan so that his son does not follow in his footsteps in the detective section. "I deliberately told Bobby not to be a detective, but in traffic to be safe," he said jokingly as reported by Bisnis.com from Antara.

After completing high school, the man who was born in Jakarta on March 31, 1962, continued his studies at the AKPOL (Indonesian Police Academy). His first assignment as PAMA Polda Nusra (1994). Several years serving in Bali in various positions from 1990 he was transferred to his hometown; Jakarta.

Mochamad Iriawan alias Iwan Bule. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

Serving in the capital, his career just got smoother. Iwan really showed his dedication to the institution where he took shelter. He completed various tasks. No wonder he had received praise from the leadership for his achievements. But he has not only received verbal praise, but he has also collected many awards as a form of complete devotion, both from within and from abroad. These include the Bhayangkara Pratama Star, the Bhayanagkara Nararya Star and the XXXII Loyalty Badge. While from abroad he received Untac Medals (Cambodia) and Uncro Medals (Croatia).

Returning to Jakarta, the important positions he occupied included as Kapolsek Metro Sawah Besar and Wakapolres Metro Tangerang. After that he was transferred to become Police Chief of Slawi Central Java (2000) and for more than a year served in Slawi, he returned to Polda Metro Jaya. He has held various positions, which is interesting that he became Kapolda in three different areas; West Nusa Tenggara Police (2012), West Java Police (2013) and Metro Jaya Police (2016). The last position before Iwan retired from the Police was Asops Kapolri (2017).

The figure of Iwan occupies a new position at the National Defense Institute after he is no longer serving in the Police. He holds the position of Main Secretary of Lemhanas. Even though Iwan only briefly served as Plt. The Governor of West Java replaced Iwa Karniwa for three months (18 June 2018-5 September 2018).

And after he was elected as the General Chair of PSSI in an Extraordinary Congress (KLB) which took place at the Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta on November 2, 2019, he won the most votes from the participants who took part in the KLB. Iwan was then named PSSI Chair for the 2019-2023 period.

Before the KLB was held the position of Chairman of PSSI was held by Edy Rahmayadi who is now the Governor of North Sumatra. And Iwan is the 17th Chairman of PSSI since the federation was founded on April 19, 1930 with the general chairman at that time Ir. Soeratin Sosrosoegondo. At that time Indonesia was still under the Dutch colony.

Mochamad Iriawan alias Iwan Bule. (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

The challenges faced by Iwan as the Chairman of PSSI are very different from those of the previous period leaders. There is an extraordinary event that destroys almost all lines of life. The coronavirus pandemic has left all unmoved. Including the activities of football players, referees, coaches, officials and those who focus on the football federation (PSSI).

As the Chairman of PSSI, Iwan tried hard so that the competition that had been stopped could revive even though the corona had still not disappeared from the motherland. It seems that he has the principle of not having to wait for the corona to disappear to be able to resurrect the previously postponed competition.

This is what was confirmed in the 2021 PSSI Ordinary Congress which took place at the Raffles Hotel, Kuningan Setia Budi, South Jakarta, Saturday 29 May. One of the important decisions of the forum was the implementation of Liga 1 with health protocols. "PSSI hopes that all programs in 2021 can run well. We certainly need the support of all parties such as members, the government, and others," hoped Mochamad Iriawan, who is more often called Iwan Bule.


"We together with all PSSI administrators and friends who are members of football people will try their best to give the best for Indonesian football. To make all of this happen is not as easy as turning the palm of the hand, there are many processes that must be passed."