Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Persitara worry about crowd trouble

It's still a couple of weeks away but the city is Jakarta is worried. 19 April sees Persitara host Persebaya in the Copa Indonesia, provisionally at Lebak Bulus Stadium, but permission has yet to be granted for the game to go ahead.

Persebaya's fans, known as Bonek, have a reputation for mayhem. Their home city of Surabaya may well be some 15 hours from Jakarta by train but it is feared large numbers of their fans may travel for the game seeing a chance of a big day out in the capital.

Figure Leeds United heading to London to play someone like Fulham in a vital FA Cup game after years in the wilderness.

If the game is held at Lebak Bulus Stadium then officials fear trouble will erupt as fans of Persebaya and Persija clash. Huh? Persija? LB is their spiritual home and their supporter's club is based at the stadium. While relations are good between supporters club officials of both sides there is big rivalry between the two and violence is a clear and present danger especially when the Surabaya club's fans travel away.

Tugu Stadium could be an option but that stadium is ill equipped for such a high risk game. More likely is a game played behind closed doors or even a move away from Jakarta to a more peaceful location. Like Seram!

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