Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Results 29/11

Divisi Utama

Persitara v PS Bengkulu 2-0 (Brima Pepito, Masril)
Persiba Bantul v Persipro 4-0 (Busari, Udo Fortune 2, Ezequial Gonzalez)
PSS Sleman v PSMP 3-1 (Ferry, Anang, Tri; Harun)

Liga Primer Indonesia Pre Season

Bogor Raya v Batavia Union 2-3

Persitara come from North Jakarta. Batavia Union come from North Jakarta. Persitara get their money from local government. Batavia Union get their money from LPI sponsors. Neither club, nor indeed any in Indonesia, seems capable of finding their own cash flow. And now, with the Divisi Utama and the LPI geting under way they both play on the same freaking day. So NJ Mania were torn in two. Some went to Cibinong, some went to Tugu Stadium. Does it matter? Is it the same club or is it two different entities drawing on the same support?

I gave up trying to explain this kind of nonsense years ago. I have a real job where I need to justify my decisions. Decisions here aren't always made for football reasons.

God, I'm soo jealous...


England's World Cup Bid

I loathe so many of that FIFA executive committee that I resent the fact that we need to grovel to them just so we can get the rights to host the World Cup. Kow tow to Jack Warner? I would rather french kiss Mabel when she has taken her dentures out.


Brotherly Love

The opening fixtures of the ASEAN Football federation Cup in Jakarta tomorrow are a fascinating microcosm of South East Asia history and politics.

Thailand v Lao

More people of Lao descent live in Thailand than live in Lao. In many parts of the north east it can seem more Lao than Thai as families have settled the land for generations, fleeing the French, I can understand that, and communism, yep, good point there.

The communists did away with the Lao royal family shortly after coming to power back in the 1970s but the hammer and sickle have been found to be an uneffective way to run a country and there are now some Lao who cast envious glances south of the Mekong at the Thais and their royals.

Many Lao dishes are staples for Thais while Lao return the favour by sitting avidly round their cranky TV watching the latest Thai soap operas, weeping at the misfortunes of the latest star just like their neighbours.

If you can read and speak Thai then the chances are you can pretty well make yourself understood at least in the Lao capital city of Vientiane.

There are some difference of course. Vientiane has the feel of a provincial backwater lost in time. The fading French colonial style buildings may be in need of a lick of paint but they have yet to be dwarfed by high rise condos, hotels and malls.

There have been tensions over the years and even a little shooting match over a piece of land back in the 1980s but they have mostly been solved or at least are not allowed to damage relations between the two countries anymore.

Indonesia v Malaysia

But while the Thai Lao relationship shows maturity Indonesia and Malaysia are like a couple of quarreling cousins, one rich the other poor, who have yet to reconcile their differences after they were riven apart by a couple of unwanted step fathers.

They share the same food, language and religion. Bugis, Javanes and Minangkabau, among others, flocked to the Malay pensinsular over the years bringing with them their own heritage and quarrels. You can in a way liken Indonesia to the old world and Malaysia to the new world. But whereas Germans don't get too upset when Americans claim hamburgers as their own the Indonesians show a testiness whenever Malaysians flaunt what they feel is their heritage.

Extremists in Indonesia have called for war with their neighbours over slights imagined or otherwise. When Malaysia claimed a plot of sea nobody could find on a map Indonesian news showed locals in the jungle undergoing military training ahead of an invasion of Malaysia.

Likewise another mob of nutters threatened to invade Malaysia surreptitiously if Malaysia didn't stop claiming batik shirts as their own. For their part the Malaysians don't seem too bothered by the one way animosity felt by some which got as far as someone flinging their shit at the Malaysian embassy once.

People have in the past described football as war but it is to be hoped that some mild abuse on the terraces tomorrow night is as bad as it gets.


Jakarta Casual Awards 2010

In my spare moments, not too many at the moment, I am already thinking about the jakarta Casual Awards 2010. These are perhaps the only awards in the whole footballing world decided by a fat geezer in the pub so that is surely enough to give them some credibility, innit?

A few candidates for player of the year with Arema featuring strongly. Pierre Njanka has been immense for them at the back. He is the club captain and is also highly respected off the field. M Riduan has been on fire all year after a slow start following his move from Tampines Rovers while Yongki Aribowo has impressed with both Persik and Arema as well as knocking on the door of the national team.

Of course it's not all about Indonesia. Frederic Mendy has looked good with Etoile while Bah Mamadou with Gombak United has proved assured at the heart of one of the meanest defences in Singapore. Latiff and Shahril Jantan and that Japanese geezer at SAFFC have also impressed.

In Thailand Kawin has again looked assured while Sarayoot has had a good season in front of goal for Thai Port.

Candidates for young player of the year include Mendy and Yongki as well as Oktavianus at Sriwijaya.

Coach of year contenders include Rahmad Darmawan who won the Indonesia Cup for the third successive season, Patrick Vallee 'cos he pisses people off and Robert Alberts who got Arema playing with such fluidity and one of my favourite coaches Daniel Roekito who doesn't know the meaning of defend. Last season he guided unfancied Persiba to third place.

Good to see a lot more decent unofficial websites out there, especially in Indonesia. Ongisnade won it at a canter last season but it won't be so simple in 2010 with quite a few fans upping the stakes and moving away from flashy animations, scrolling and stoopid .gifs.

If you have any suggestions please feel free to add them to the comments, thanks

Check out who won what at the Jakarta Casual Awards 2009.


Hold Your Cherries

Is football about football or fruit machines? The answer should be obvious but after reading this story I'm not so sure.

The former vice chairman of Sengkang Punggol has been appointed chairman of Woodlands Wellington and his former chairman at Sengkang Punggol will act as his adviser at least until the 2011 season begins.

When questioned about a possible conflict of interest it seems nobody is too worried, instead hiding behind one of Singapore football's favourite words; strategic. The Singapore FA of course released a strategic plan earlier in the year. Strategic can mean many things and I can't help but think it's ambiguity is what makes it so attractive. And it sounds so important.

Any old hows, back to the main stuff. I normally avoid stories like this 'cos they're normally boring but this one has a few things crying out. Not only are the respective chairman closely involved with each other they have also worked together at national Football League side Tiong Bahru

This past season Tiong Bahru finished bottom of the table and scored four goals in their 18 games. In just 2008 they had won the NFL Division 2. This abject failure on the field is puzzling when you consider the success they are having off it. Membership of the club has risen by some 50% over the least five years and they have added more fruit machines. Presumably to help subsidise the football club?

Sengkang Punggol have also seen little real investment on the football side of things but they have added more fruit machines to their stable and have asked for approval to add more.

Could the same business plan be employed by the new chairman at Woodlands Wellington?

No one denys that running a football club is an expensive hobby, not least in Singapore where gate reciepts and merchandising contribute about 620 dollars all year. But fans have a right to expect some of the funding from elsewhere being invested back into the club. Fans dream of future success, it's all most of us have left to cling to, but they also need to know the club's owners are pulling in the same direction.

Football is the focus, not the fruties. The fruities are there to help the football club, not the other way round.


Putting Butts On Seats

Hong Kong side South China have signed former Manchester United and Newcastle United midfielder Nicky Butt and are thought to be paying him something along the lines of 50 grand a week. Which should just about cover his apartment on Mid Levels.

Question. Why is that Hong Kong is able to attract aging internationals like Butt yet Singapore can't?

To be fair, that ain't the right question at all. Surely it is better to pick up young, ambitious players like Frederic Mendy, Obidin Aikhena and Daniel Hammond, sign them on two or three year contracts, watch them develop as players in your league then flog them allowing the transfer fee to stay in Singapore football.

Oh wait, I've just seen the floor, I mean flaw, in that scenario. I said two or three years contracts. That's funny that is.


AFF Cup 2010 Preview

Catch my thoughts on the Jakarta based group in today's Jakarta Globe

Monday, November 29, 2010


Thailand Squad AFF Cup 2010

Goalkeepers: Sinthaweechai Hathairattanakool (Chonburi FC) and Sivaruk Tedsungnern (Buriram PEA)

Defenders: Panupong Wongsa, Nataporn Phanrit (Muang Thong United), Chonlatit Jantakam, Suttinun Phukhom, Suree Sukha, Natthaphong Samana (Chonburi FC) and Teeratorn Boonmathan (Buriram PEA)

Midfielders: Suchao Nutnum, Rangsan Vivatchaichok (Buriram PEA), Datsakorn Thonglao, Naruepol Ar-romsawa, Phichitphong Cheuichieu (Muang Thong United), Wichaya Dechmitr, Sutee Suksomkit (Bangkok Glass FC), Therdsak Chaiman (Chonburi FC) and Surat Sukha (Melbourne Victory)

Strikers: Teerasil Dangda (Muang Thong United), Sarayoot Chaikamdee (Thai Port FC), Teerathep Winothai (BEC Tero) and Kirati Keawsombut (Buriram PEA)


100,000 + Visits

A Jakarta Casual TV clip has just passed 100,000 hits. It was the first clip I made, before I had envisioned a separate video site, back in 2007 and shows a few second action from a game between Persija and Persita. Google Persija and you will find the video is the third entry.

With the ASEAN Football Federation Cup kicking off this week you can expect to find plenty more exclusive articles and interviews covering ASEAN's best football tournament...


Thai Friendlies 'Fixed'?

Monday, November 29th, 2010 13:50:00

The Malay Mail was tipped off by a source from abroad claiming the individuals linked to fixing the President's Cup and on-going King's Gold Cup matches could be involved in "arranging international matches" in the region.

This included the Thailand-Zimbabwe and Thailand-Syria international friendlies in Bangkok last year.

In an email to The Malay Mail, the source said: "As you know, they (Zimbabwe) played Thailand but the Malaysian who organised these matches brought Kenyan referees for that match, and later arranged the match between Thailand and Syria and brought across Serbian referees!

"I was told he is a Malaysian based in Singapore ... wouldn't give out his business card though.

"All corresponding emails between the respective FAs were sent and his replies were cc'd to a 'Wilson'."

The Malay Mail, in its story "SMS to Lose" published on Nov 17, obtained an SMS allegedly sent to a T-Team official by "Wilson" claiming the Terengganu-based club's players and a coach were on the take and would lose to KL by four goals.

The message was sent on July 14, a night before T-Team played KL in the return leg quarterfinals of the President's Cup. KL won that match 4-2 at the Cheras Stadium.

This came about after two players confessed to The Malay Mail of having been approached by bookies to throw away the President's Cup matches and the on-going King's Gold Cup tournament.

The Paper That Cares wrote an email to "Wilson" but had yet to receive a reply.

Zimbabwe played Malaysia last year but The Malay Mail exposed, in its article "Con Deal?", published on July 13, 2009, that the visiting team was club side Monomotapa United FC instead.

Last December, Zimbabwe played a match against Thailand which they lost 3-0. The 15 players from the African nation who played in Bangkok were unheard of.

The match was played despite local Zimbabwe newspapers quoting Zimbabwe FA (Zifa) chief executive officer Herietta Rushwaya as saying: “We indicated to our Thai counterparts that we would not be able to put a team together for the tie due to the Christmas holidays."

Following investigations, Zifa fired Rushwaya for allowing the club to travel to KL and for Zimbabwe's "dubious" match against Thailand.

READ: More evidence of players throwing away matches for money


Malaysians Looking For Travelling Fans To Raise Roof

Despite the various on going political tensions between Indonesia and Malaysia the two country share a long history together and indeed it was only the British and Dutch that led to them being divided.

Malaysia have recieved something like 5,000 tickets for the two group games that will be played at the Bung Karno Stadium, against Indonesia and Thailand, and will receive slightly more when they play Lao in Palembang in their final group game.

I've not seen many away fans at games at the Bung Karno. During the Asian Cup in 2007 there were a few Arabs, from Saudi and Bahrain, but they kept a pretty low profile which was hard considering the white costumes they wear. During the same competition there were a few South Korean fans who made a bit of noise in their game with Bahrain but they didn't bother coming for the game against the hosts.

During the last AFF Cup Singapore had nobody. Well if they were there they kept mum. Likewise the Thais didn't have any support.

Things were a little different during the Asia Cup qualifiers. There were several hundred Australians in the stadium for the 0-0 draw but many of them were expats while the game with Kuwait, was marred by a couple of minor incidents but a show of bravado by the visiting fans nipped that in the bud.

So 5,000 Malaysians? Hmm, that's gonna be interesting, very very interesting.


Teams Arriving Today

It's gonna be busy around the lobby of the official hotel today as the three teams competing in the ASEAN Football Federation Cup will all be checking in within a few hours of each other. The Thais arrived first, using their national carrier and the Malaysians came early afternoon using their national carrier. Lao are due in about the same time as the Malaysians but they came by boat from Batam after playing a friendly against Singapore last week.


Results 28/11

Divisi Utama

Persigo v Persekam 3-0
Gresik United v Persis 4-0
Mitra Kukar v PPSM 1-0
Persebaya v PSBI 0-1
PSIR v Barito Putra 1-0
Persiraja v PSMS 3-0
PSLS v Persita 0-0
PSAP v Pro Titan 1-0
PSSB v Persipasi 0-0
Persikab v Persikota 1-0

Thai FA Cup Final

Chonburi v Muang Thong United 2-1 (


LPI Pre Season

Finally the alternate Indonesian league, the Liga Primer Indonesia, has announced its Pre Season tournament after many delays. And, insert drumroll, it starts today!

After 18 teams initially joined, or was it 17, only 13 have joined the Pre Season but there is a promise of 7 more for when the season kicks off in January.

Persikabo Stadium, Cibinong

29/11 Bogor Raya v Batavia Union
05/12 Manado United v Jakarta 1928
07/12 Bogor Raya v Jakarta 1928
09/12 Batavia Union v Manado United
11/12 Jakarta 1928 v Batavia Union
13/12 Manado United b Bogor Raya

Manahan Stadium, Solo

02/12 Tangerang United v Persema, Solo v Bandung
04/12 Bandung v Medan Chiefs, Solo v Tangerang United
06/12 Medan Chiefs v Persema, Tangerang United v Bandung
08/12 Medan Chiefs v Tangerang United, Persema v Solo
10/12 Bandung v Persema, Solo v Medan Chiefs

Jatidiri Stadium, Semarang

02/12 Real Mataram v Bali, Semarang United v Persebaya
04/12 Real Mataram v Persebaya, Bali v Semarang United
06/12 Persebaya v Bali, Semarang United, Real Mataram

Any games scheduled on 4/12 and 7/12 will clash with Indonesia games in the ASEAN Football Federation Cup.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Jakarta 1928 play Batavia Union. In effect that's Persija v Persitara and there is no love lost between both sets of fans.


Chonburi Win Thai FA Cup

Chonburi, everyone's second favourite Thai team, have won the FA Cup, defeating Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United 2-1 in the final.

Despite their proud traditions, sounds like an English team I know, and they penchant for young players, sounds like an English team I know, Chonburi had failed to win any trophies over the last couple of years, sounds like an English team I know, so ending that drought will mean a lot to their fans, sounds like an English team I know.

I'm sure that, rather like the English team I know, they would rather have the opprobrium of rival fans if it meant a bit more silver to be polished.


Get Well, Goran

PSM defender Goran Subara was taken to hospital after a clash of heads with David Ngabe during the game with Semen Padang on Saturday. There were fears that he had swallowed his tongue and there was genuine panic on the players faces as they tried to revive him.

He was rushed to hospital where he later regained consciousness though with a nasty headache.

He will be returning to Australia for some more checks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


PSM Home Defeat Marred By Crowd Trouble

There aren't many people who would have expected Semen Padang to have been flying high at this stage in the Indonesia Super League season. Yesterday's 1-0 win over title hopefuls PSM saw them climb to 4th just five points behind leaders Persipura.

Former international striker Saktiawan Sinaga netted the only goal of the game on the hour mark. Makassar is never an easy place for an away team to pick up anything and the Red Buffalos must have thought they would also be leaving empty handed after seeing Park Chul Hyung get a red card in the first half.

This ref obviously had brass ones because soon after Sinaga's goal he sent off home side striker Korinus Finkrew.

Fans rioted after the game, perhaps a little peeved by seeing their local heroes spurn the chance to share that elusive top spot.

After starting the season brightly PSM coach Robert Alberts will be concerned by his team's home form and a lack of goals. But with Andi Oddang, who has six already, being partnered by the likes of Obiora and Finkrew his team will never be the free scoring proposition Arema were last season.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Another Private Teams Quits Malaysian Football

After the 2009 Malaysia Super League two private teams, My Team and Kuala Muda, both withdrew from Malaysia's top league. Now we have KL Plus knocking it on the head.

For a country that is so fanatical about the game I find it difficult to understand how a private football club can find it so difficult to get a foothold in the local game.

Sorry, I can. Walk the streets of KL etc and you will see plenty of Liverpool, Chelsea etc shirts. People find it easy to identify with a club side thousands of miles away. No-one seemingly wants to identify with a team that was founded on a reality TV show, My Team, sponsored by a car dealership, Kuala Muda NAZA to give them their full name, or named after a toll road, KL Plus.

The demand is undoubtedly there, there just seems to be a crisis of imagination at the highest levels of how to tap into that interest. Indonesia at least has a debate about the future of football there and it is widely accepted change needs to happen. The Liga Primer Indonesia is just the opening salvo in that battle. But Malaysia just plods along with its annual brainstorming sessions that produce little concrete.

Saying that, the national team go into the AFF Cup as the dark horse that could upset Indonesia's ambitions.


Scottish Referee Crisis

Singapore referees have offered to fly to Scotland to officiate Scottish Premier League games after the Scottish refs went on strike.

The Singaporean whistleblowers believe it would be a wonderful opportunity to experience football in another country and one told me, via Mabel of course, that they would love to try out their ideas in a football crazy country.

'Raising our arms in a Hitler style salute when issuing cards in Singapore has proved very popular with our friends,' said one 'so it makes sense to see how it would work in a foreign country.'

The match officials didn't seem so sure of their geography with one thing Scotland was a suburb of Manchester and another thinking that he would be able to ref a Liverpool game.

When I asked what they thought about players and coaches jumping up and down in the technical area they didn't seem to think that was a problem with one of them telling me that 'it's ok lah, it's not necessary to get so excited, it's only a silly game anyway, so better they just sit down and play with their i-Pad isn't it.'

It was pointed out to them that they may have problems getting a work permit they didn't seemed to perturbed with one saying 'no problem lah, just FT lah.'

After researching this story I now find out they decided to withdraw their offer when they were told there were no 'teh tarik' stalls at the stadiums.


News Round Up

Some football clubs in Indonesia are late paying their players
Some people are disappointed with the leadership of the FA
Some teams get dodgy decisions in their favour to help them avoid home defeats
Some players are known divers
Some people believe refs are got at but they have no evidence
Indonesia are expected to win the AFF Cup after having defeated Maldives, Timor Leste and Taiwan recently
Some teams have cash flow problems

All these stories pretty much apply year round!


Results 26/11

International Friendly

Singapore v Lao 4-0 (Noh Alam Shah, Agu Casmir 2, Fazrul Nawaz)

Divisi Utama

Persiba Bantul v PS Mojokero Putra 1-0 (Udo Fortune)
PSS Sleman v Persipro 1-0

Friday, November 26, 2010


You Can't Make It Up!

I swear when it comes to stories there is on league in this region that comes close to the farce that surrounds Indonesian football.

One thing absent here that other leagues have are Uniform teams. Thailand has the imaginatively named Police United and Royal Thai Army. Malaysia has ATM and PDRM while Singapore boasts SAFFC and Home United.

Indonesia has none of them in its professional leagues. What is does have though is military personnel firing on policemen who were trying to get into a game for free!

When the fans aren't going at it hammer and tongs then the security forces are doing it among themselves...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Oddang The Man!

Two goals by Andi Oddang in their 2-1 win over Persiwa meant that PSM finally slipped into second place in the Indonesia Super League but having played more games and being a number of points behind Persipura means the Black Pearls won't be that worried just yet.

But really this post is about Andi Oddang. He netted a few goals for Persebaya last season that ultimately weren't enough to save them from relegation but he showed himself to be a tidy enough player.

Given a goalscoring opportunity Oddang always seems to have that extra moment mentally and will go for placement rather than swinging his boot that is the preferred option for so many.

With the AFF Cup beginning next week it was the perfect time to remind coach Alfred Riedl of the quality in his own bacyard. But with the newly Indonesian Christian Gonzalez netting three in two perhaps there was never any hope of Oddang getting a call up.


Vallee Leaves The Champions

In a sign perhaps of turmoil at newly crowned SLeague champions Etoile coach Patrick Vallee has announced he will not be around next season with the French team.

However given their performances this season it won't be long before another team steps in for the French coach.

Putting two and two together Persib Bandung are still, I believe, looking for a coach?!


Semen Padang Continue Fine Start

Semen Padang earnt a 1-1 draw against Indonesia Super League title hopefuls Persiba yesterday afternoon. Edward Wiilson gave the visitors the lead but Eki equalised after the ball came off the post.

It's been a disappointing start to the season for Persiba who finished 3rd last season and fancied themselves to kick on but despite signing last season's leading scorer, Aldo Baretto, they have struggled to find any consistency this season and coach Junaedi has admitted his position may not be all that safe


Gonzalez On Target Again

Indonesia defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in their final friendly before the AFF Cup that starts next week. Goals from Gonzalez, his third in two internationals, and Firman Utina were enough for victory.

Recent Friendlies

v Uruguay 1-7
v Maldives 3-0
v Timor Leste 6-0
v Chinese Taipei 2-0

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


The Eternal Optimism

I love some of the stories that are coming out from these wanna be Liga Primer Indonesia clubs. Remember Bogor Raya where some official was quoted as saying they wanted a coach who had World Cup experience only to end up with some geezer whose last job was as assistant at a Divisi Utama club?

Now we have Tangerang United linking themselves, in today's Top Skor, with former Chilean international striker Marcelo Salas!

I'm guessing that if the LPI does get off the ground and if Tangerang United do get involved they would be using the Benteng Stadium. The same ground that is used by both Persita and Persikota.

I'm struggling to see how recruiting aging foreigners for a new league is going to raise the quality f that league. For example back in the 80s the Australians used to bring in big names like Charlie George and Kevin Keegan to boost the attendances but they had little impact beyond a nice little tan.

What's to say this would be any different?


ASEAN Football Federation Cup 2010 Tickets

Jakarta is hosting one group of the biennial AFF Cup with hosts Indonesia joined by Malaysia, Thailand and Lao.

VVIP - 255,000 IDR
VIP West - 205,000 IDR
VIP East - 100,000 IDR
Class 1 - 100,000 IDR
Class 2 - 75,000 IDR
Class 3 - 50,000 IDR

(1 USD = approx 9,000 IDR)

Malaysia will play Lao at the Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang on 7 December and tickets prices will be a little different.

Indonesia host Malaysia in the second game on 1 December at the Bung Karno Stadium and apparently some 5,300 tickets have been put aside for visiting supporters.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Semarang United Sign Foreign Trio

With the excitement building towards to the start of the alternate Liga Primer Indonesia comes news Semarang United announcing three foreign players added to their suad.

Former Persib defender Patricio Jiminez, former Persija and Persikabo striker Roger Batoum and Amarildo Souza, (Persijap?)

Now call me a hoary old cynic but these are hardly signings to set the pulses racing in either Semarang or the much hyped (by Indonesian standards) new league. Instead there are three players coming to the end of their careers and hadn't even been snapped up by Divisi Utama teams

If there was a draft system in place, like in American and Australian sports, the LPI's teams, supposed to be 18, get to choose after the Indonesia Super League and the Divisi Utama. Their short term challenge is to become the first choice but there are many hurdles to jump before they reach that stage.

They wil however be holding games on Saturday and Sundays which means I may even be able to get to some games...if they can play any games in Jakarta!


Indonesian Involved In Leicester City Takeover

Following news that a Thai consortium took over Leicester City comes news that there is an Indonesian element involved. A company called Cronus Sports Management headed by Iman Arif owns 20% of the East Midlands team.

Arif until recently was the head of the BTN, the body that took care of the Indonesian national team, until he was replaced in a reshuffle that was widely perceived to have been caused by a dispute between the national team coach, Alfred Riedl and FA heavyweights.

Arif was also heavily involved with the Arsenal Soccer School when it was set up in Jakarta.

But there's more. Iman Arif has a background n energy but he is very much a trusted lieutenant of football in Indonesia's first family, the Bakries. It is therefore likely, though unconfirmed at this moment, that he is fronting a company that will feature some Bakrie involvement.

Nirwan Bakrie is a prime mover in Indonesian football having held a number of key positions over the last few years. However he likes to keep a very low profile. His brother, Aburizal Bakrie, is a very powerful politician and leader of the Golkar party, the second largest in the current Indonesian parliament.

The Bakries are a controversial group with allegations of tax evasion and environmental damage following them around.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Persikab Held By New Boys

Persikab's first home game at their new, temporary (?) Bima Stadium in Cirebon, ended all square after they were held 0-0 by newly promoted PSCS Cilicap.

Last season Persikab played their home games at the Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang, about 90 minutes south of Bandung. Cirebon is about a three hour drive north of Bandung! Which I guess means that most of the team's fans from last season won't see to many games for the time being.


Tangerang's Battling Fans Carry On Regardless

There are two teams in Tangerang, Persita and Persikota, and they both use the centrally located Benteng Stadium. Obviously when one team is playing at home the other isn't. But Tangerang folk are a proud bunch and last season many several brawls between the sets of fans even though just one of them was playing at home.

The Divisi Utama only started last Friday and already the same old pattern is being repeated. Friday saw Persita host Persires and the home team fans, known as Laskar Benteng Viola, still had it with Persikota fans, known as Benteng Mania, on the way to the stadium after mocking their rivals.

Yesterday Persikota were at home to PSIM and this time it was the Benteng Mania allegedly doing the mocking.

Last season the police threatened to ban any games being played at the Benteng Stadium if the troubles continued. It won't surprise anyone if they do eventually pull the plug.


Lao Friendly

Lao will play a friendly against Singapore on 26 November ahead of the AFF Cup next month. Lao have been drawn with Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia for the biennial event.


Bok Remains A`Warrior

Despite ending the season without a trophy SAFFC have announced that Richard Bok will still be their coach for next season.

Unused to such a barren season it is thought that the Warriors are already looking for new talent. Among those being linked are Frederic Mendy (Etoile) and Balestier Khalsa defender Daniel Hammond


Singapore Awards Night

Great Eastern Player of the Year: Shahril Ishak (Home United)

YEO’S Young Player of the Year:
Hariss Harun (Young Lions)

MIKASA Coach of the Year:
Vorawan Chitavanich (Tampines Rovers)

RHB Top Scorer: Frederic Mendy (Etoile FC)

Tiger Beer Goal of the Year: Shahril Ishak (40’, Home United vs SAFFC on 16 July)

YEO’S People’s Choice Award: Shahril Jantan (SAFFC)

Great Eastern Referee of the Year: Abas Daud

Certis Cisco Assistant Referee of the Year: Haja Maidin

Singapore Pools Fair Play Award: Tampines Rovers

POLAR Fan Club of the Year: Albirex Niigata FC (Singapore)

RHB Story of the Year: “I thought of quitting” by David Lee (The New Paper)

Singapore Pools Picture of the Year: “Geylang United’s forward Itimi Dickson collides with Young Lions goalkeeper Jasper Chan and midfielder Kim Seong Kyu” by Lim Kok Meng (Lianhe Zaobao)

100 S.League Goals: Mohd Noor Ali

300 S.League Goals: Aleksandar Duric

FAS Special Award: Dollah Kassim


Uruguayan Giants Sign Young Indonesian Talent

It's not often Indonesia gets any recognition on the international stage beyond humiliating performances home and away but finally a piece of good news.

Syamsir Alam has been signed by Penarol, one of the biggest clubs in Latin America, after performing consistently well with the Indonesian side that has been training and playing in Uruguay the last few years. Joining him will be Zainal Haq.

They will start training with the team in the new year.

Both lads are currently back in Indonesia with their team mates, known as SAD, and footbal fans in Jakarta will get a rare opportunity to see them in action this week as they have arranged a couple of friendlies.

23 November v SMA Darussalem @ Bung Karno Stadium
25 November v PPLP Ragunan @ Soemantri Brojonegoro Stadium


Persiraja Want Diallo

Divisi Utama side Persiraja are hoping to finalise the paperwork to sign former PSIS and Sengkang Punggol midfielder Abdoulaye Diallo. He tells me if everything is tickety boo then he hopes to line up for his new team against PSMS.


Persib Linked With Darby

Persib Bandung currently sit bottom of the Indonesia Super League and the club have acted ruthlessly by terminating Serbian coach Jovo Cuckovic's contract.

Despite boasting a squad with some of the best talent in South East Asia Cuckovic has struggled to get the players performing and rumours had been rife that he would be out sooner rather than later.

One media report today suggests that Steve Darby, currently number 2 to Bryan Robson with the Thai national squad, is a leading contender for the position.

Darby of course will be arriving in Indonesia next week for the ASEAN Football Federation Cup.

Other names linked so far include Daniel Roekito and Bambang Nurdiansyah, the local Sven Goran Ericsson who gets linked with every job going. I guess 'cos he's usually out of work!


Results 21/11

International Friendly

Indonesia v Timor Leste 6-0 (Christian Gonzalez 2, Bambang Pamungkas, Oktavianus, M Ridwan, Yongki Aribowo)

Indonesia Super League

PSM v Pelita Jaya 2-2 (Andi Oddang, Richard Obiora; Ramierez, Sasongko) 8,127

PSM missed out on going second in the ISL after being forced to come from behind against a Pelita Jaya team that had started the game at the bottom of the table. It took an Obiora pen to secure a point.

Divisi Utama

Persebaya v Persigo 1-0

Thai League Cup Final

Thai Port v Buriram PEA 2-1

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Results 20/11

Indonesia Super League

Persiba v Persiwa 4-0 (Aldo Baretto 2, Khairul Amri, Robertinho)

Divisi Utama

Persikota v PSIM 0-0
Pro Titan v Persikabo 1-0

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Wilko Is A Copper

Singapore international John Wilkinson has signed for Thai Premier League side Police United. You could say he is leaving the military, SAFFC, to become a plod.


Divisi Utama Kicks Off

PSMS v Persitara 2-1
Persipasi v Persih 4-0
Persita v Persires 5-0
PS Bengkulu v Persiraja 1-2
Persis v Perseman 0-0
PPSM v Persiram 0-0
Persemalra v Gresik United 2-0
PSIS v Persik 2-1 (Stephen Kuoh 2; Adrian Trinidad)
PS Mojokerto Putra v PSIR Rembang 0-0
Persipro v Persiku 1-0
PSBI Blitar v Perseru 2-1
Persikam v Persidafon 1-0
Barito Putra v Persiba Bantul 0-0

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Sumatran Teams Drop Out

With the alternate Liga Primer Indonesia due to start on 8 January, and a pre season tournament due to kick off sometime before, comes news that two of the teams who have expressed an interest in joining have decided not to bother.

PSPS Pekanbaru, who have to rely on local government subsidies, and Semen Padang, who don't, have apparently said they're no longer interested in participating.

The LPI don't seem to worried suggesting there are other clubs interested in joining.


Exclusive Interview With Buriram PEA Fan

With Buriram PEA on the verge of a Thai League Cup Final appearance I managed to track down one of their hardcore supporters and asked him how their season has been. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to use my camera so we have to make do with a rough translation of his comments.

Jakarta Casual – hi, thanks for your time. What’s your name?

Fan – Lek, khrap

JC – Khun Lek?

F – Khrap pom

JC – Khun Lek, how long have you been a Buriram PEA fan?

F – All my life

JC – All your life?

F – Khrap pom

JC How old are you Khun Lek?

F – 27 khrap

JC – Are you from Buriram?

F – Khrap pom

JC – How many games have you been to this season?

F – Khrap pom

JC – (Repeats question in Thai)

F – Every game

JC – Do you go to away games?

F – Khrap pom

JC – What is the best ground you have been to with Buriram PEA?

F – Arai?

JC - (Repeats question in Thai)

F – Ummm

JC – Have you ever been to Chonburi?

F – Never

JC – Eh? Have you ever been to Chonburi?

F – No

JC – Have you been to every away game this season?

F – Khrap pom

JC – So have you been to Chonburi

F – Never

JC – Ok, let’s press on. Who is your favourite player?

F – Khun Newin khrap

JC – Khun Newin Chidchob?

F – Khrap pom

JC – And what position does Khun Newin play?

F – Arai?

JC – What position does…oh never mind. What team won the Thai Premier League this season?

F – Buriram PEA khrap

JC – Arai wa?

F – Buriram PEA

JC – Okkk…who won the Thai League Cup?

F – Buriram PEA

JC – But the game hasn’t been played yet. How do you know your team will win?

F – We never lose. Khun Newin told us.

JC – You never lose? What was the score away to Bangkok United?

F – I don’t know

JC – What stadium was used in your away game to Bangkok United?

F – Khrap pom

JC – Will you be going to Bangkok this weekend?

F – No. Why?

JC – For the Thai League Cup Final?

F – Arai wa?

JC - (Repeats question in Thai)

F – Khrap pom

JC – Can you name any other football teams in Thailand?

F – Khrap pom

JC - (Repeats question in Thai)

F – Buriram PEA

JC – Lek, I know you are a big football fan. Who won the World Cup this year?

F – Thailand khrap

JC – Back to the Cup Final against Thai Port. How will you go to Bangkok?

F – Bangkok?

JC – Yes, how will you travel to Bangkok for the game?

F – Not going

JC – Hold on, you just told me you’re going to Bangkok for the League Cup Final.

F – Khrap pom

JC – So how will you travel to Bangkok? How did you travel last time?

F – Last time? Me never go Bangkok

JC – Eh?

F – Khrap pom

JC – One last question

F – Khrap pom

JC – What does PEA stand for?

F – Khrap pom

NOTE - no Buriram PEA fans were injured during the making of this article. The same interview could have been done with 'fans' of teams like Hoffenheim, Chelsea, Manchester City, MK Dons or any other teams whose recent happenings have seen a rewrite of history and a discovery of long lost fans.


SAFFC Clear Out

After a rare season without a trophy coach Richard Bok is getting ruthless with his Warriors. Out go big name imports Frederico Martinez, Park Tae Won and Ivan Lovric. On the radar are defender Daniel Hammond and Etoile striker Frederic Mendy.

Both targets represent a significant shift in style for SAFFC whose recent success has been built on age and experience.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Sahil Suhaimi (Young Lions)

I had hoped to take in a few more Young Lions games this past season but it was not to be. For some reason there weren't that many games scheduled for Saturdays.

Despite a poor performance in the recent Asian Games I was still looking forward to seeing the Young Lions take on Etoile last weekend in the Singapore Cup even though they put out a weakened team.

One player still caught the eye. Sahil Suhaimi didn't set the world alight with his slalom Lionel Messi style runs. Neither did he manage a three minute hat trick. Nope, what I noticed was his desire to mix it with the physically bigger and stronger Etoile players in the middle of the park.

One incident sticks out. He was pushed aside by an Etoile player in a midfield struggle but instead of just sitting back and accepting it he ran after his opponent and delivered a gentle tap on the ankles to let him know that he would not be cowered.

A big worry among Singapore football circles is that players have it too easy and don't feel the need to impose themselves too much.

It was refreshing also, talking with Etoile assistant coach Jorg Steinbrunner, to hear that Suhaimi's performance in midfield hadn't gone unnoticed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


An SLeague Autopsy?

With Bangkok Glass winning the Singapore Cup it means that very likely for the first time in the history of football around the world foreign teams have won all the domestic trophies on offer. Etoile, in their first season, won the SLeague and the League Cup. To compound any woes Singaporeans maybe feeling the winning goal in the Singapore Cup Final was scored by a foreigner while a foreigner was also the League's top scorer.

Foreigners have always had an impact on Singapore of course. The very name Singapore dates to a prince, or king, from the nearby Indonesian island of Bintan. It was Englishman Stamford raffles who set the island on the way to free trade power house and it was another group of Englishmen who so feebly defended the island during the 2nd World War paving the way for the Japanese occupation.

Singapore of course is now an independent country, fiercely proud of her cleanliness and efficiency.

But while Singapore maybe proud of brands like Singapore Airlines and Tiger Beer it is less proud of its own domestic football. Pick up a local paper for a few days on the trot and it won't be long before you see someone pining for the good old days of the Malaysia Cup when packed houses filled the National Stadium as the Lions fought the likes of Selangor for regional pride and glory.

Since striking out on its own Singapore football has failed to attract the crowds that once created the Kallang Roar. Despite having teams that generally are supposed to represent local communities fans have not responded and people will prefer to follow Chelsea or Manchester United than their own local heroes for whatever reason. Chelsea, like Apple, McDonalds and Mercedes Benz are just another foreign brand that the urbane sophisticate to tick off his cool list.

In the wake of Bangkok Glass' win on Sunday many people told me the same thing. That the domination of the domestic game should act as a wake up call to the people who run the game. That something needs to be done to stop the game from dying a slow, unnoticed death.

There seems to be something in the Singapore psyche that loves a good whinge. I swear they're nearly as good as the Aussies at it. A local paper recently had a letter from some miffed gent who complained there were too many people at his local public swimming pool!

Following defeat to Vietnam in the 2008 ASEAN Football Federation Cup there was calls for a wake up among the people in charge. Following the exodus of players like Noh Alam Shah and M Riduan last year there was calls for someone to do something about the best players leaving. And now of course someone must do something after the humiliation of seeing all silverware grabbed by foreigners.

What to do is less clear.

Singapore is hidebound by a number of factors. Look at the team sheets for most games and you will be struck by the names in front of you. In a country where the Chinese form the majority you will rarely see a Chinese name. With parents pushing their offspring to be doctors or some kind of entrepreneur it is left mostly to the Malay and Indian to kick a ball professionally. Everybody wants something done as long as its not their children doing it.

That closed mind set means that an already small talent pool has suddenly got even smaller. And guess what? When they bring foreigners in and fast track them to citizenship the locals whine about all the foreigners in the game!

Well, duh!

On a purely footballing level the SLeague has proven to be one of the most exciting in the region, especially this season when three teams were still in with a chance of winning the title on the final match day. But the closeness of the league has not been matched by more bums on seats. Indeed one of the biggest news stories of the year was when a local paper revealed what everyone had already guessed. The official attendances did not reflect the actual number so of people in the stadium or even tickets sold.

So where are the fans? What are the FA doing to get people buying tickets to watch games?

Instead of the media and the local population getting excited by the title run in football in Singapore only attracts headlines when there’s something negative to report. And in Singapore unfortunately that happens way too often. Whether it’s having teams kicked out the league by FIFA or players beating the crap out of each other this 12 team league with few fans can certainly produce more than enough controversy to keep any red top headline writer happy for the whole season.

And when you throw into the mix revelations that players on the bench are not allowed to stand up and celebrate or cheer their team mates or that winning teams are allowed they only have a couple of minutes to celebrate because they want to shut the stadium down the general feeling has be one of WTF.

Last year when Noh Alam Shah et all headed to Indonesia many Singaporeans took it as a slur on their nation. What, they sniffed, could Indonesia possibly have that Singapore doesn’t? Well, it has passion for one thing.

The exodus south wasn’t the end of football as we knew it in Singapore and I wrote that at the time. Among the negativity that echoed round the island I looked for some bright lights and indeed we found them. The form of Shahril Ishak for example. Qiu Li’s strength up front for Tampines. Paul Cunningham impressing. Khairul Nizam finally getting on target. There was a vacuum and the vacuum was filled as other players seized their opportunities.

On the field there has been much that has been good in Singapore. Etoile have thrown down a challenge, it is up to the likes of SAFFC, Home United and Tampines Rovers to grab that. They have one advantage. Etoile are a team of mercenaries. The French Foreign Legion are looking for new clubs, Etoile was a fresh start for them, and after one season in the shop window you can be sure there will be a few suitors, both in Singapore and overseas, lining up to talk to them.

For me the biggest problem is not foreign teams winning all the trophies. Yes it may dent national pride but they were invited in and when you ask someone into your house you can’t blame them if they steal the family jewels.

Players heading overseas is not a problem either. It happens all around the world, why shouldn’t players get the chance to play in front of wild, passionate crowds. Maybe they think late salaries is a small price to pay for a more authentic football experience. And it is up to the players coming through to make sure they’re soon forgotten. Footballers don’t last forever, with the possible exception of Aleksander Duric.

Nope, for me the biggest problem facing Singapore football is the poverty of imagination at the highest levels. Why are the stadiums empty week in, week out? What is being done to bring the fans in? And I don’t mean tubs of ice cream being given away free. Why can’t people show any passion on or off the field? Why do match tickets say you can’t bring flags and banners into the stadium yet some people do? What is being done to meet AFC standards regarding promotion/relegation and achieving an average attendance of 5,000 fans per game?

For all the hype over the Strategic Plan that was released earlier in the season the biggest decisions taken in the second half of the season seem to have taken Singapore football backwards, not forwards. I’m talking about prioritizing foreign clubs over the Asian Champions League and banning Young Lions players for several months because of their part in the fracas with Beijing Guoan. Hardly moves designed to bring the bright future in Singapore football any closer.

Singapore football is not dead. The last few weeks have proven that. But it is sick and that sickness isn’t being treated. The biggest concern I have is that the professional game may just whither away and die and nobody would even notice, such is the apathy that currently envelopes the game.


A New Uniform For Mendy?

After one season in the SLeague Etoile striker Frederic Mendy has become one of the hottest properties in South East Asia with talk of at least one Thai team taking an interest in the tall striker.

However the feeling in Singapore is that the best thing the lad can do is stick around for another season or two to build on that sensational first season and a likely destination is either SAFFC or Home United.


You're Havin' A Laugh

So there we were at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Etoile players and their fans were celebrating securing 3rd place in the Singapore Cup and it looked like the French party that had begun on Wednesday after winning the SLeague would be another late night.

But nope, not this time. As the players celebrated on the field on comes the loud speaker with the announcement that as they wanted to turn the lights off and close the stadium would we make our way to the exits. Or piss off home!

Unbelievable. Football is about passion, it's about winning things. But obviously the people who run Singapore football don't see it like that. To them it seems the game itself is almost an inconvenience that interferes with their paper shuffling.

The same thing apparently happened at Queenstown when Etoile won the SLeague last week. After a roller coaster night the players were left twiddling their thumbs waiting for the trophy to arrive; it was on its way to Tampines until Etoile's late come back. The players got the trophy eventually, jumped around a bit and were then told they had five minutes to get the hell off the field!

It's a feeling easily described. It's like going to bed with that fit bird you saw at City Hall during the lunch break but waking up with Mabel from the coffee shop. Anti climax is putting it nicely.

We have match officials telling players and coaches on the bench to sit down and not celebrate or cheer on their team mates. We have players celebrating a famous victory after the game being told to go home. And we have fans staying away in droves.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Indonesian Friendlies Cancelled

Indonesia's friendlies with Philippines, scheduled for tomorrow, and Cambodia have been cancelled. With the game later this month against Taiwan not yet confirmed it's leaving the team woefully short of practise before the ASEAN Football Federation Cup that starts next month.

Which, by the way, they are expecting to win!


Persebaya Want Former Dutch International

Oh stop laughing!

Persebaya are reported to be interested in signing former Bayern Munchen striker Roy Maakay to spearhead their bid for promotion from the Divisi Utama next season or their Liga Primer Indonesia debut season.

Apparently the fact that two other foreign signings reportedly backed out of signing for the club for fear of sanctions from the FA doesn't seem to be an issue.


Batavia Union Or Persitara?

Liga Primer Indonesia candidate side Batavia Union won their first friendly beating the Army team, PS TNI, 2-1 at Tugu Stadium in North Jakarta. Veteran Javier Roca scored one of the goals.

Roca and his team mates looked to be wearing a Persitara kit for the game at the home stadium of Persitara.

This could get confusing. Persitara are also competing in the Divisi Utama as Persitara. Batavia Union is to all intents and purposes Persitara with different funding.

Do the LPI expect the clubs to keep separate identities? Persitara get their pittance from local government subsidies. Are we supposed to believe there will be a clear distinction between the two teams? Or is it one team?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Results 13/11

Indonesia Super League

Persela v PSM 2-0 (Fabiano, Feri Ariawan) 4,021
Deltras v Persiba 2-0 (Marcio Souza, Feri Aman Saragih) 6,340

Well knock me down with a feather. Deltras scored a penalty at home.

Singapore Cup

Young Lions v Etoile 0-3 (Anthony Moulin 2, Stephane N'cho)


Sit Down, Oh Sit Down

There are many things you can do sitting comfortably and politely. You can watch a movie either at home or at the cinema. You can read the paper. You can have lunch. You can player computer games.

In Singapore you can add being a football coach. For some reason during last night's game between Young Lions and Etoile every time assistant coach Jorg Steinbrunner stood up to bark out instructions or just to stretch his legs you could be sure the over officious fourth official would be wandering over and telling him and his team to sit down.

Now the former Woodlands Wellington and Sengkang Punggol coach can be a rather animate character when he's pitch side. He's kicking every ball, casting doubts on everyone's parentage and generally keeping the match officials on their toes.

I've said before that in this part of the world things don't get done because they need to be done. Rather they get done because they can be done. A big difference and an example of insignificant people puffing out their chests and saying look what I can do.

You can't help but wonder how these over officious little men would handle the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourhino.

God knows there is little enough passion in Singapore at the best of times. Perhaps it's part of the Singapore FA's much heralded Strategic Plan to turn football into a spectator sport along the lines of Bridge or Bowls.


Young Lions v Etoile 0-3

Without leading scorer Frederic Mendy SLeague champions Etoile still had enough in their locker to defeat a Young Lions side at Jalan Besar to secure 3rd place in the 2010 Singapore Cup.

A better game than I expected to be fair, Young Lions proved tough opponents and although there was never any danger they would win they didn't roll over and die and it wasn't till the last minute that a 3rd goal gave some respectability.

Some images from the game can be found on Asian Football Pictures.

Friday, November 12, 2010


The End For Beijing Guoan?

Tonight sees the curtain come down on SLeague 2010 with the latest Chinese side Beijing Guoan taking on Sengkang Punggol in a 10th versus 11th clash.

Beijing Guoan have won of their 32 league games up until now but their presence in the SLeague has been controversial. The people's favourite, as it were, were Yishun Super Reds but they were dropped because the league seemed to think that what Singapore football fans really needed was a Chinese team in the league.

Unfortunately fans memories of Guoan will be marred by the brawl they were involved in with Young Lions which saw young Singaporean players receive hefty suspensions and fines.

Will Beijing Guoan be with us in 2011? That remains to be see. Every year the league likes to boast that there are a heap of overseas clubs looking to join the league. Last year for example not only Yishun but a team from Darwin also missed out.

The league says this interest from overseas, next year may well see a South American team applying, is testament to the success and standard of the SLeague but the cynics out there, which includes me, will suggest that having seen the success of Etoile this year many see the SLeague as a way of getting journeymen pros noticed in Asia.


Persija Hope For Foreign Opposition

After Sriwijaya sounding out Singapore teams for potential friendlies during the long break now comes news that Persija are hoping to arrange games with Malaysian Super League opposition. Kelentan and Negeri Sembilan have been mentioned.


Bogor Raya Lower Sights

A few weeks ago I reported how Liga Primer Indonesia new boys Bogor Raya were determined to appoint a coach with World Cup experience.

Well, yesterday they introduced the club to the media. Well, the coach. His name is John Arwandi and while he has never actually coached a national team at a World Cup it is believed he has watched a game or two on TV.

The club also launched their club shirt for the new season. It's either black or very dark blue with gold fringes and features a club badge that closely resembles the LPI badge. The shirt also boasts the words Bogor Raya Football Club on the chest in case nobody knew who they were.

No players have yet been recruited apparently even though the pre season tournaments are supposed to start on 22 November


Pre Season Tournaments

With the Liga Primer Indonesia due to start early January there are plans afoot to hold a pre season competition featuring the clubs involved. The idea is to divide teams into regions and play games in one base. The suggested bases are Medan, Semarang, Surabaya and Makassar.

Today comes a report that games could well be played in Jakarta. The reasoning is that it makes sense because there are four teams slated for the LPI that are based within a three hour drive of Jakarta.

So we could see Jakarta 1928 locking horns with Batavia Union, Bogor Raya and Bandung at the Lebak Bulus Stadium. Makes sense, at least logistically.

Would a security permit be released for the games though? That doesn't sem likely when you consider Jakarta 1928 are to all intents and purposes Persija, Batavia Union are Persitara without local government funding and Bandung are still Bandung whether they are linked with Persib or not.


Sriwijaya Eye Regional Friendlies

Breaking the mould somewhat Sriwijaya are hoping to play some friendlies against teams from Singapore and Malaysia while they take a long break ahead of their next Indonesia Super League game against Persib in January.

So far SAFFC and Gombak United have been mentioned and the club are awaiting a response from Singapore before deciding on dates.

Last year Sriwijaya hosted Malaysian Super League side Perlis in a friendly.


Indonesian Football Rivalries

An interesting look at football rivalries in Indonesia can be found on the Persebaya fan site Bonek Cyber.

I was interested to see the article link Persebaya fans with the fans of PSIM Yogyakarta, known as Brajamusti. On my first visit to Indonesia in 1987 I recall sitting at a warung in Yogya talking football with a couple of local lads and they said the biggest problem they faced was with fans from Surabaya.

If you don't read Indonesia then stick the article through Google translate...

On the topic of rivalries I am in the process of doing a series for Jakarta Casual TV on this very topic. The first will look at the hatred between fans of Persija and Persib.


Volcanic Ash Could Scupper Indonesia's ASEAN Cup

There is concern among authorities that the ash spewing from the Merapi volcano could be used as an excuse to move the ASEAN Cup from Jakarta to another country.

A couple of years ago, at the last AFF Cup, Bangkok's airport was closed by nutters protesting about something but the group games were switched to Phuket so surely if people are grossed out by the thought of a bit of ash there is nothing stopping the group being moved to say Palembang?

Though of course Phuket is far sexier than Palembang!

In more Indonesian national team news the same article says that the friendly against the Philippines next Tuesday is still going ahead in Jakarta as is a game against Taiwan in the oh so exciting city of Palembang. Meanwhile there is a verbal agreement to play Cambodia but if that falls through then apparently Korean side Suwon Bluewings is an option.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Phnom Penh Crown's New Appointments Show Ambition

Andy's Cambodian Football blog is reporting that Cambodian C League champions Phnom Penh Crown have appointed for My Team coach Bojan Hodak as their coach as they seek to extend their domination of the game in Cambodia.

They have also recruited Kingsley Njouko and Gabriel Obadin, formerly of SLeague side Gombak United.

Obadin is an interesting addition. The silky ball playing defender who also played for Young Lions was highly rated in Singapore and there were hopes that he would go on and represent the national team at some stage.


Raising Money For Disaster Victims

Last night saw Persebaya lose 2-1 at home to the Indo Holland team that is currently in Indonesia on a triple mission. The games are being promoted as fund raisers for victims of recent disasters here.

The games are being organised by the alternate league that has been set up here, the Liga Primer Indonesia, without the sanction of the local FA or PSSI.

And of course the players in the Indo Holland, who only arrived in Jakarta on Monday, may also be looking for clubs locally.

The game was won by the visitors 2-1 in what was generally claimed to be a good natured affair.

Appropriately enough, on Heroes Day, the game was played at the 10 November Stadium in Surabaya.

But the result is unlikely to be remembered long into the future. Instead the PSSI are reportedly unhappy with the whole thing, especially with the LPI using a foreign ref to officiate the game. They have reported the Egyptian ref to both AFC and FIFA.

Tomorrow Ind Holland are due to play Persema at the Gajayana Stadium in Malang.

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