Indonesia soccer playersAssociation football or soccer (축구중계) at the top of the most watched sports events in Indonesia, more so now that the country made a significant surge in the FIFA world ranking. Following the recent victories, Indonesia’s The Red and White football team garnered 30 points that boosted its FIFA world ranking by 8 spots, whilst securing 134th place in FIFA’s roster of globally recognized football teams.

The achievement was largely the result of Indonesia’s series of recent World Cup qualifying match victories over Vietnam. Conversely, the losses had caused the latter to lose 30 points, which led to a 10 spot drop in FIFA’S worldwide ranking. According to the latest FIFA report, Indonesia posted the highest level of improvement compared to all other football teams; but at the expense of Vietnam, as it suffered an equally huge decline.

The remarkable feat brought Indonesia to a comfortable second place position next to Iran. The Red and White is just 5 points behind Iran, the leader in the Group F contenders looking to qualify for the forthcoming FIFA World Cup event in 2026.

indonesian goalkeeper In having garnered a 5-point buffer between Iraq and Vietnam, losing to Iran in the June 06 qualifying match will not put them in a precarious position. The Red and White team aims to achieve enough victories that will send them to the next round of qualifying matches toward participating in the 2026 final World Cup showdown.

Latest Football Feat Raises Concerns over Indonesia’s Reliance on Naturalized Football Players

News about Indonesia’s significant football triumphs albeit resulting in favorable improvements to the country’s world ranking, has been drawing negative feedback. Apparently, the impressive performances that earned The Garuda or The Red and White Team substantial points, the major winning scores were delivered by naturalized foreign-born Indonesians and not by the country’s homegrown talents.

Those who viewed the live action via Laser TV’s streaming services, were impressed with how Netherlands born and raised Ragnar Oratmangoen and Jay Idzes both with Indonesian heritage made significant contributions that led to Merah Putih’s domination of the two matches waged against Vietnam.

Still, the majority of Indonesia’s football fans are celebrating, despite criticisms hurled against the national football team’s South Korean coach Shin Tae-Yong, for fielding as many as 10 naturalized soccer players, as it denoted lack of confidence over the local Indonesian football talents. Many contend that the active recruitment of foreign-born Indonesians by the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) is a shortcut to training and developing the country’s young football players.

However, many point out that it was only under the South Korean coach that The Red and White exhibited a steady rise to becoming formidable achievers. Shin Tae-Yong was recruited as coach in 2020. Back then, Merah Putih players were brimming with talent, yet past performances show that local [layers have a tendency to buckle down and underperform during critical periods.

At this point, the Indonesian Football Association asserts that the recruitment of naturalized players is only temporary and used as a strategy in improving the country’s world rankings and the perennial underperforming tendencies of local players. Indonesian soccer fans took note that in the second match, emerging homegrown Indonesian football star Ramadhan Sananta played an important role in sealing the victory against Vietnam.