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Sent Off The Field

Soccer Enthusiast Stages One-Man Protest at Bali APEC Conference

(10/9/2013) Security officials safeguarding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) in Bali took into custody the chairman of the People of Indonesia Soccer Association (MSBI), Sarman El-Hakim, who attempted to disrupt the arrivals of Russian President Vladimir Putin by staging a banner protest at a busy South Bali intersection near Nusa Dua.

On Monday, October 7, 2013, at approximately 12:30 pm, Sarman unfurled a banner while standing in the middle of the  intersection before the entrance to Nusa Dua proclaiming “FIFA World Cup in Indonesia 2022.”

As reported by DenPost, the protest took place just minutes before President Putin’s motorcade was set to pass through the intersection. Sarman managed evade detection by police and the local citizen constabulary (pacalang) by slipping through a phalanx of grade school children waving flags to welcome visiting world dealers and then opened his banner urging the FIFA tournament be held in Bali in nine years time.

As soon as Sarman occupied the intersection both he and his banner were quickly taken into custody. Resisting officers, Sarman screamed: “What have I done? I have brought a banner supporting Indonesia as the host of the World Cup? I haven’t brought a political party banner.”

Sarman took the opportunity to complain to the listening press that the APEC Conference is focused only on bringing investors to Indonesia, while the World Cup, he insists, would bring million of tourists spending their money in Indonesia. He continued, accusing investors lured by APEC of imposing pre-conditions on Indonesia, he said sports fans bring their money without levying demands on the Country.

Following Sarman’s arrest, calm was quickly restored at the entrance to Nusa Dua as the Sarman was escorted to a nearby police station. Putin was reportedly unaware of the incident when his car passed by a short time later.

The head of the South Kuta police precinct, I Wayan Nuriata, confirmed that Sarman was undergoing interrogation by police. “We have only taken him into custody. He was still being questioned by officers of from the legal section (Bidkum) of the Bali Police,” explained Nuriata.

The 22nd FIFA World Cup will be staged in Qatar in 2022.

Picture shown on Balidiscovery.com from DenPost showing Sarman El-Hakin being escorted away by police for interrogation.