Presenting its study at the 2019 Play the Game sports conference held in Colorado Springs, the United States, Indonesian think tank Ganesport Institute said integrity should be the number one criterion for leadership in soccer.

“Our study finds that integrity is the most crucial [quality] and thus should be at the top of the list when looking for an ideal person to lead a soccer association,” Ganesport founder and director Amal Ganesha said as quoted in a statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Themed Athlete Power on the Rise, the conference ran from Oct. 13 to 16.

The Ganesport study cited six additional qualities for the ideal chief of a soccer organization, namely independence, the ability to stay clear of politics, a bright career in or outside soccer, diplomatic intelligence, deep knowledge of soccer and a senior-level position in their chosen career.  

Ganesport was invited by the Danish Institute for Sports Studies to present its findings at the conference, which was also attended by representatives from big names in the industry like  FIFA, EUFA, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the US Olympics and Paralympics Committee (USOPC).

Conducted in July, the study involved opinions from 23 sports management experts from around the world, including Indonesia. The results of the study are intended as insight for the Indonesian soccer community and association, who are currently in the middle of a search for a new chief for the Indonesia Soccer Association (PSSI).