Monday, January 25, 2010


More about Persebaya

The Jakarta Post rarely covers Indonesian football and when it does 99.9% of the time youcan be sure it will be in a negative light. So yep, they are really going to town over the events of the weekend when Persebaya fans did their thang going to Bandung for the game against Persib.

Headlines like Public Enemies brought the Bonek to the attention of a readership who may well have lived in total ignorance of Indonesian football let alone fans travelling to games.

Odd, innit, that when dark skinned, poor people go to a football game they are called public enemies while murderers, corrupters and kiddy fiddlers attract less graphic headlines. Something perhaps to do with the fact that the little folk cannot sue?

At work today the great and the good of middle class society gnarled their teeth and puffed their chests out with self righteous indignation at these Dickensian scamps having the temerity to crawl out from under their stones and blight their precious conciousness for a few hours.

The rail company bore the brunt of the damage with costs running into thousands of dollars caused by the Bonek adventures though the mayor of Surabaya makes the small but crucial point that it actually takes two to dance and there were plenty of other scamps along the way more than willing to attack the Bandung bound train.

Just to point out that inside the stadium there was no trouble. Persebaya fans were kept behind for a few hours after the game, probably singing a few anti Persija songs with their hosts the Viking, before returning home 12 hours later on a special train that was eagerly followed along the way by irate folk wanting one last chance for some rock chucking.

The FA blame the club of course. Which takes us to the old argument we had in England back in the 70s. Who is responsible for the behaviour of football fans? In England we love to blame someone, it's part of our christian heritage to be so forgiving doncha know.

Persebaya fans were already banned from travelling to away games following an incident last year. So how come nobody noticed several hundred green clad fans turning up at the station in Surabaya and boarding a train for Bandung. Did they expect they all fancied a weekend in Lembang gorging themselves on Rabbit Sate?

It does seem from the Bandung end things were handled pretty well by the police. Ticketless fans were admitted in to the stadium but when you consider the disturbances outside the 10 November Stadium recently when 7,000 tickt/less fans were locked outside this was probably no bad move. The damage had been done letting them get to Bandung. Everything else was damage control.

Indonesia's usual response to games with potential for trouble is to ban away fans, like Persebaya v Arema recently, or just play the game behind closed doors, like Persib v Persija.

But neither solution addresses the real problem of crowd control. Unfortunately Indonesia is far from ready to implement all ticket games or membership schemes, god what am I suggesting here, because of the scope for abuse and money making on the side.

Stopping hundreds of ticketless fans travelling is the easiest option but that requires coordination between the club, supporter's club and the security forces. Rather than me having to put up with offended sensibilities of the precious, god fearing folk in my office, better just to prevent these things happening again with a bit of forward planning.

Oh, yes, I see...well, emm...forward planning. There in lies another post!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?