Friday, October 21, 2011
Stadium Plan B
With the SEA Games, an Under 23 event, taking precedence over everything, including World Cup Qualifiers, the PSSI are busy scampering round trying to fine a venue to host the WCQ between Indonesia and Iran.
The game is scheduled on 15 November, check the AFC website, but that date falls slap bang in the middle of the SEA Games with Indonesia's Under 23s playing Thailand on the same day.
The WCQ dates were fixed months ago, the SEA Games dates earlier this week. It is heartening to know that there are people involved in running football in this part of the world who are totally incapable of scheduling a football match without having it clash with something of greater importance.
So now the PSSI are trying to find an alternate stadium so one country can host both the national and the Under 23 team on the same day. Clever stuff eh?
Two possibles being put forward are Jalak Harupat which is in the one street kampung of Soreang an hour south of Bandung, or Manahan Stadium in Solo which has the benefit of being in the city centre.
Then there is the small question of whether either ground is suitable. The AFC recently checked Indonesian stadiums and found only three met their standards; whatever they may be. One was Bung Karno, in Jakarta being used for the SEA Games, the Jakabaring in Palembang, being used for the SEA Games and the Mandala Stadium in Jayapura, about seven hours flying east of Jakarta.
But the PSSI are suggesting two grounds that don't fit AFC criteria...