Adelaide must face reinstated Persipura

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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- Adelaide United must play Persipura Jayapura on Thursday in a bid to qualify for the Asian Champions League after the Indonesian side was controversially reinstated to the competition.

Adelaide was initially given a direct passage into the Champions League main draw after Persipura was ruled ineligible because it plays in the unsanctioned Indonesian Super League.

However the club appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was provisionally reinstated earlier this month to the Champions League. A final ruling won't be determined until next month.

Adelaide has been forced into rushed preparations for the two-legged playoff, and club chairman Greg Griffin was this week reported as describing the CAS decision as "flawed."

"The appeal should never have got past first base," Griffin was quoted as saying in the Adelaide Advertiser.

"The Indonesian federation, AFC (Asian Football Confederation) and Adelaide United all have reasonable arguments that there is simply no basis for CAS to make any decision."

The Indonesian Super League was the country's top-tier competition until it was replaced with the Premier League last year by the Indonesian football federation (PSSI).

Persipura has declined invitations to join the PSSI-sanctioned Indonesian Premier League, while CAS said the AFC refused PSSI's request to enter the Persija Jakarta team instead of Persipura.

The CAS ruling forced the AFC to hastily schedule Thursday's match and Persipura only arrived in Adelaide on Wednesday.

The confusion surrounding the match intensified with Adelaide coach John Kosmina failing to satisfy the champion's league criteria as a coach.

Kosmina holds an AFC B coaching license, not the A-license required -- meaning his assistant coach Luciano Trani will lead United for the match.

Trani said he and players were trying to ignore the mess and concentrate on defeating an opponent they know little about.

"They are just unknowns to us," Trani said Wednesday. "But as long as we play well, it doesn't matter who we play against -- we'll win."

Trani said the Reds only received scouting videos of Persipura 24 hours ago.

"They're a side that is typically Asian football -- technically based, and they like to play the ball and move and go and get numbers forward of the ball."