London - As former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho mulls his next move, an
unlikely suitor has emerged in the form of the beleaguered Indonesian
national team, which is banned from international football.
Indonesian Sports Minster Imam Nahrawi has announced that he wants
Mourinho, who has been out of work since December after being sacked by
Chelsea, to train the country's national side.
Mourinho has been widely linked to Manchester United where Louis van
Gaal has spent most of the season under siege, but Nahrawi hopes the
53-year-old Portuguese might pick sun-kissed, tropical Indonesia over
chilly northwest England.
"This has been discussed with President Joko Widodo," Nahrawi was
quoted as saying by state-run news agency Antara on Monday in Jakarta.
However Nahrawi conceded that it was "not an easy thing to do", particularly given the high cost of hiring Mourinho.
In addition, Mourinho would be landed with a team that currently
cannot even compete internationally after FIFA suspended Indonesia in
May last year over allegations of government interference.
The crisis began when the government sought to remove the football
association due to a row over which teams could participate in the
country's top league, and the domestic game ground to a halt soon
An interim league kicked off at the end of last month, but
authorities and the football association are still at loggerheads and
the FIFA suspension remains in place. The national side is ranked 185th
If efforts to net Mourinho fails, Indonesia has a Plan B - they will go after Chelsea's interim manager, Guus Hiddink.
"Hiddink costs a little less," Nahrawi said.
The approach to Mourinho came after Indonesia last month threw its
hat into the ring to host the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, despite the FIFA ban.
The Indonesian proposition is the second unusual offer for Mourinho
in recent times after war-ravaged Syria sounded him out about managing
their national team.
Mourinho insisted he would be back in management by summer - but not with Syria.