Friday, February 09, 2007


The season starts here

Tomorrow sees the delayed domestic kick off a journey that will see 2 divisions of 18 clubs vie for the prestige of being called Indonesian Champions. In 34 games time we will arrive at the Big 8 stage and finally a team will parade the trophy possibly in early January 2008. Yeap, it’s a long drawn out old season this one. We have a 3 month hiatus in May for the Asian Cup being held locally then we have another month’s break for the fasting season.

But that’s a long way off. The kick off sees some attractive looking fixtures as well as some interesting games. The pick of the bunch sees perennial contenders Medan, who don’t have Christopher Wreh listed among their squad, host perennial bridesmaids Semarang. Unfortunately TV coverage doesn’t seem to extend far beyond Jakarta or Surabaya so it won’t be shown live. Instead on Saturday we get to see reigning champions Kediri host Sriwijaya. On Sunday we get a tasty local derby as Tangerang play city rivals Tangerang City at the shared Benteng Stadium. The clubs have offered to play the game behind closed doors but the Indonesian Football (PSSI) authorities aren’t so keen on the idea. Put it this way, people I know in Tangerang will be staying away from the area on Sunday and if it does kick off then the PSSI will end up with plenty of bird flu free egg on their faces. Elsewhere, new boys Pelita Jaya meet Bogor Town while Jakarta go to Padang.

In the Eastern Division the highlight for a number of reasons sees Surabaya head along the east Java coast to play Pasuruan Town. It remains to be seen how many of Surabaya’s notorious hooligan following are allowed to make the journey. Cup Winners Arema Malang play the rebrand Gianyar, now seeking to unite the whole of Bali behind them under the name Bali FC.

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