Friday, January 07, 2011


LPI Opener. Should We Expect Anything?

Finally the big days arrives. Tomorrow sees the breakaway Liga Priner Indonesia kick off with Ksatria Solo playing Persema at the Manahan Stadium in Solo.

What should we expect? Persema will be fielding the team that served them in the official Indonesia Super League till they withdrew while Ksatria Solo will be made up of various folk nobody has heard of along with an Aussie keeper. And the field itself will be hosting its third game in six days.

Security officials are laying on 800 officers to keep the peace. Why so many? Are they expecting a massive influx of Persema fans? Unlikely. Do they expect supporters of the status quo to storm the stadium? Less likely.

The LPI is not sanctioned in anyway by the FA which could well store up a whole heap of problems for everyone involved. Players, coaches and match officials could well be fined or banned if the FA, known as PSSI, wanted to play hard ball and they would have the support of the world's governing body, FIFA.

It doesn't matter how incompetent or how corrupt an official body is deemed to be, FIFA sticks by its own. Unless it's Brunei when they can act big and tough.

To be fair we can't expect the standard to be that hot on the field. Most teams were only put together over the last few weeks and all the money in the world can't make a champion without decent preparation.

What will be interesting will be the crowd. Solo is a football nut city and they turn out in their droves to support local side Persis. They are also used to seeing teams come and go having witnessed the likes of Arseto, Pelita Jaya (?), Persijatim (now Sriwijaya) try and set root in the Central Javanese city but never last long.

Will the fans turn out in force? Will it be a 19,500 sell out?

One thing is for sure. The FA officials won't be watching. For all their threat of sanctions and brimstone they have done what officials all around the world do when the spotlight is on them for the wrong reason. They have headed overseas to look busy.

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