Spaniard Luis Milla (above) was on the top of the list to handle the Indonesian national team for the 12th edition of the AFF Suzuki Cup which kicks-off on Nov 8 under the new home and away format.
However, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona player is said to have run into contract snags over his salary with the Football Association of Indonesia – commonly called PSSI (Persatuan Sepakbola Seluruh Indonesia).
Milla took over the reins from Alfred Riedl in early 2017. He also handled the Indonesian Under-23 team in the recent Asian Games in Indonesia. Hosts Indonesia, however, failed to get beyond the Round of 16 in the Asiad. 
In came former international Bima Sakti Tukiman – a local hero and household name in Indonesia – who played in the SEA Games, the Asian Games, Asia Cup, and FIFA World Cup qualifiers and earned 58 caps, according to records available.
According to records, Bima Sakti made some 230 appearances for Indonesian cubs from 1994 to 2016 before moving into management to be with his former club Persiba Balikpapan as the assistant coach. 
The gifted midfielder was later named as the assistant to Milla for Indonesia’s campaign in the Asian Games.  
Bima Sakti, born in Balikpapan on 23 January 1976 (42 years) is the new man at the helm of Garuda (also known as Merah Putih) was appointed to the hot-seat earlier this month.
For sure Bima Sakti, who was Milla’s assistant in the Asian Games, has a mountain to climb in the premier Asean football tournament. The bulk of the AFF Suzuki Cup squad come from the Under-23 team.
Indonesia has Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Timor Leste for a company in a tough Group A – dubbed the Group of Death.
“Desire and character based on database observed by Milla were taken into account in picking the Suzuki Cup squad,” said Bima Sakti, who thanked PSSI Deputy President Joko Driyono for having faith and giving him the opportunity to handle the national team.
Indonesia has some of the most gifted footballers in this region but Garuda has not been able to turn it into success in the Suzuki Cup when it matters most – and the last hurdle has always been a bane for the team.
For the record, Indonesia has reached the Suzuki Cup final five times – in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010 and 2016 – but could only finish second best on each occasion.
Will Bima Sakti be able to break the jinx for Indonesia this time around? Only time will tell. 
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