Friday, February 16, 2007


Weekend preview, Jakarta Post and Des again...

Another packed weekend of fixtures lies ahead of us with the pick probably seeing Semarang back home after a depressing trip to Sumatra. They face a buzzing Kediri at Jatidiri and need 3 points to kick start their season. With Julio Lopez is up against Christian Gonzales it also showcases some of the best foreign talent in the league. But this is Indonesia and Semarang and Kediri are two of the best run clubs in the country. Should be a cracker, it's live on TV but I'm going out to get pleasantly bladdered so hopefully Dave will keep me posted with reports from the ground.

Elsewhere Jakarta travel north to face Jakarta North in the Capital Derby. Tangerang travel to Bandung while city rivals City host Medan which has all the hallmarks of a goal feast. Face it, Tangerang City have signed Roger Batoum and have seen the opposing teams provide all their goals thise season (all one of them), while Medan just don't travel well despite being nigh on unbeatable at home.

In the Eastern Division Arema Malang travel to East Kalimantin looking to protect their 100% unbeaten record while Surabaya host Yogyakarta hoping to lose a less loveable 100% record of their own.

I was glancing through the Jakarta Post today when I saw on page 5 a special about the UEFA Champions League sponsored by a beer close to my gut. Now, fair enough the trophy will be passing through Jakarta next weekend on a whistle stop tour before it gets cleaned up and handed over to Arsenal in Athens but what caught my eye was something that wasn't there. I went to the sports pages and saw absolutely zilch about the Indonesian League. Not even a word about crowd trouble, nothing. OK, it's not the job of the Jakarta Post to publicise the domestic football (!). You would think there would be a department at the Indonesian Football Association who would be dealing with the press but obviously there isn't. With little or no attempt to attract a new fan to the stadium then football headlines will continue to be dominated by events in Europe and football fans will continue to recognise Henry, not Hamzah.

One person who does his bit to promote football, not just Indonesia but throughout Asia is Des Corkhill who pointed out to me that he doesn't consider himself an expert, just an enthusiastic fan trying to increase awareness of local football. And he does so with all the passion of a true fan. But at the end of the day, and we're talking Indonesia again now, while the satelitte channels can play a role in promoting the game there is no denying the domestic authorities could and should be doing more. Or another generation will grow up supporting Liverpool, Manchester United or Real Madrid rather that Persita Jakarta, Persib Bandung or Persiraja Banda Aceh.

Finally ESPN will be showcasing the best of Asian football when a new series of Top Corner hits the screen early next month. Over to you PSSI!

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