Thursday, March 31, 2011


Persija v Persipura 1-1

Good game. Very good game. Deserved a better crowd but then what do you expect on a work day and the way the traffic is these days in Jakarta.

First half was all Persipura. Zah Rahan and Manu Wanggai were sublime in the middle, the back three rarely troubled and I think the keeper returned to the dressing room half way through.

While Persipura threatened with every move, Titus Bonai and Boas Solassa led the cumbersome Persija a merry dance sure they did, the home team were static. Playing with one up front, Agu Casmir, they lacked the mobility of the visitors. Agu does less work off the ball than the Persipura duo, always wanting the ball to feet, playing as a lone striker he needed the service.

At half time we were entertained by a politico type walking round the pitch milking the prompted applause from the Persija support. Dunno about you but if anybody had wantonly destroyed Highbury with no plan B in place they most certainly not have been applauded. Unfortunately you need friends in high places.

Second half was all Persija. Persipura did nothing. Oh, except score. But apart from that what did Persipura do?

Persija encamped in the Black Pearls half and their late equaliser was no more than they deserved. Persipura continued to break with pace but the midfield was slow in support or maybe they were happy with a third consecutive away point. Draws at Sriwijaya, Persib and Persija? That's why they'll be champions...

Some pix can be found on Asian Football Pictures

Indonesia Super League

Semen Padang v Persijap 3-0 (M Rizal, Saktiawan Sinaga, Edward Wilson Junior) 6,783

Divisi Utama

Persiba v Perseru 6-1 (Gonzalez, Busari 2, Sugiyanto 2, Slamet Nurcahyo) 9,245
PSS v Persidafon 2-1 (Tri Handoko Putro, Anang Hadi Suputro; Lukas Rumkabu) 6,826

Semen Padang leap frog Persija into second place but have played two games more. Wilson hit his 11th of the season. Rare defeat for Persidafon, only their third of the campaign but while Persiba made up ground they remain four points behind having played a game more. And leading scorer Udo Fortune did not score shock horror!


Albirex Niigata v Geylang United 3-1 (Kawakami, Okuyama, Inui; Hafiz Rahim) 1,464

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Bandung Sack Coach

Liga Primer Indonesia side Bandung have sacked their coach Nandar Iskandar. The dismissal comes as no surprise as Bandung, featuring the highest paid player in the country, Lee Hendrie, are bottom of the LPI with just one win all season and four points from their opening 10 games.

Officially the club say that they probably won't be able to announce a replacement until the first round of fixtures has finished.

Bandung are, I think, the second team to change coach. Medan Chiefs replaced Jorg Steinbrunner last week.


Doing It For ...

So an SLeague side is going to take on Albirex Niigata to raise money for victims in Japan's recent disasters.

Not a big fan of these, gotta say. You know when you get people like Bono crawling out the woodwork telling me I 'must' help the victims of a disaster, man made or whatever, it sickens me. Especially when they say the way I can help is by buying a ticket for their concert or buying a t shirt with their name on it or downloading their music off the net.

The money they raise, from the likes of me, will go to their cause. And they give what exactly?

I've been to a few of these fund raisers over the years. Ones that spring to mind are games between Aldershot and Manchester United (raise money for soldiers injured in Falklands War), or Tampines Rovers v Geylang (doing it for Charmaine (whatever happened to her)) when they doubled the prices so people could see the likes of Andrew Leci and Sheikh Haikul play in a charity knock about before everyone buggered off ahead of the main event.

Do I have good cause fatigue? Not really. No harm in giving at all. I just don't like the way it's all being shoved down our throats and the implicit message is if we don't rattle the tin with silver we don't care.

Fundraisers may say that such high profile events do see a spike in their fund raising efforts so of course they will continue to hold them. People like to pay of 60 quid to watch an English premier League game so clubs will continue to charge those prices.

But for me, any giving I do will be done surreptitiously with a nod and a wink to the wise. I don't need the oxygen of publicity to feel sympathy and make me part with my cash! Not under pressure from back slapping celebs...


SLeague Cares Match Details

SINGAPORE, 30 March 2011: The S.League All Stars side to face the TAKE ACTION With Albirex Niigata Selection in the S.League Cares, TAKE ACTION With Albirex Niigata Singapore Charity Match at Jalan Besar Stadium this Saturday, 02 April has been officially announced.

The S.League All Stars are coached by three-time S.League Coach of the Year, Richard Bok of SAFFC.

Bok is assisted by another Singapore football stalwart, S.Subramani of Home United.

Courts Young Lions skipper Hariss Harun will lead the All Stars for the first half with Balestier Khalsa’s Paul Cunningham wearing the captain’s armband for the second half.

All proceeds raised from the Charity Match will directly support the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

Football fans who attend the Charity Match can also contribute through donation boxes which will be placed around the stadium.

“We really hope that many, many people are coming down for the match,” said Bok.

“The S.League Cares, TAKE ACTION Foundation and Albirex Niigata Singapore have come together to raise funds for the people of Japan, so I hope to see a full stadium on Saturday.”

Four players from Bok’s SAFFC side make the squad, with goalkeeper Shahril Jantan, defender Shaiful Esah, midfielder Mustaqim Manzur and forward Fazrul Nawaz in the list of 22.

Meanwhile S.League champions Etoile are also represented by four players: defender Sirina Camara, midfielders Hicham Bounchem and Maxime Belouet and forward Jonathan Totoi.

The S.League All Stars team is:

Goalkeepers: Shahril Jantan (SAFFC), Izwan Mahbud (Courts Young Lions)

Defenders: Paul Cunningham (Balestier Khalsa), Afiq Yunos (Courts Young Lions), Sirina Camara (Etoile), Obadin Aikhena (Gombak United), Walid Lounis (Gombak United), Jeremy Chiang (Gombak United), Emmeric Ong (Hougang United), Shaiful Esah (SAFFC)

Midfielders: Armanizam Dolah (Balestier Khalsa), K Vikraman (Balestier Khalsa), Hariss Harun (Courts Young Lions), Hicham Bounchem (Etoile), Maxime Belouet (Etoile) Carlos Alberto Delgado (Hougang United), Fazli Jaffar (Hougang United), Jordan Webb (Hougang United), Mustaqim Manzur (SAFFC)

Forwards: Vitor Borges De Souza (Balestier Khalsa), Jonathan Totoi (Etoile), Fazrul Nawaz (SAFFC)

While not every club is represented in the All-Stars squad because of S.League match commitments, they are nevertheless contributing to the cause.

Home United, for example have donated proceeds from their match against Woodlands Wellington on 27 March to the relief efforts.

Meanwhile, Tampines Rovers will also be placing donations boxes in their designated ‘home’ blockbuster clash at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 01 April against Home United.

A host of Japanese footballing royalty, including former internationals Hidetoshi Nakata, Masaaki Sawanobori and Masakiyo Maezono have confirmed their participation for the TAKE ACTION with Albirex Niigata Singapore Selection side.

Tickets priced at $12 (Grandstand) and $6 (Gallery) for the S.League Cares, Take Action With Albirex Niigata Singapore Charity Match will go on sale from Friday, 01 April at the Albirex Niigata Singapore office at Jurong East Stadium and the FAS office at Jalan Besar Stadium.

For more information on the limited number of $200 VIP tickets for the Charity Match, please contact Muhammad Andi Mirza of the FAS at 68803150.

Match Details

S.League All Stars vs TAKE ACTION with Albirex Niigata Singapore Selection

Date: Saturday, 02 April 2011

Time: 5.00pm

Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium

Ticketing Information

Tickets will go on sale on Friday, 01 April 2011.

Where: Albirex Niigata (Singapore) office

21 Jurong East St 31

#04-04 Jurong East Sports Complex S 609517

Tel: +65 6334 0511

Fax: +65 6334 0510

Where: Football Association of Singapore office

100 Tyrwhitt Road

Jalan Besar Stadium S 207542

Tel: +65 6293 1477

Fax: +65 6293 3728


World Cup 2014 Qualifiers

Round 1

v Chinese Taipei
Bangladesh v Pakistan
Cambodia v Laos
Sri Lanka v Philippines
Afghanistan v Palestine
Vietnam v Macau
Nepal v Timor Leste
Mongolia v Myanmar

First leg, June 29
Second leg, July 3

Round 2

v Afghanistan or Palestine
Lebanon v Bangladesh or Pakistan
China v Cambodia or Laos
Turkmenistan v Indonesia
Kuwait v Sri Lanka or Philippines
Oman v Mongolia or Myanmar
Saudi Arabia v Hong Kong
Iran v Maldives
Syria v Tajikistan
Qatar v Vietnam or Macau
Iraq v Yemen
Singapore v Malaysia or Chinese Taipei
Uzbekistan v Kyrgyzstan
UAE v India
Jordan v Nepal or Timor Leste

First leg, July 23
Second leg, July 28

Only Brunei missing from the World Cup qualifier though if the PSSI carry on its cack handed manner they may soon face the wrath of FIFA.

Which may not be a bad thing seeing that they got thumped by Turkmenistan recently in the Olympic Qualifiers.

Eye catching is a potential Causeway Derby between Malaysia, AFF Cup and SEA Games holders, against a Singapore side perhaps at a crossroads.

Back in 2007, if I recall, Timor Leste played their World Cup qualifier home leg in Bali...

If South East Asia gets two teams through to the next round they will have done bloody well. Thailand should get through, as should Malaysia. Or Singapore.



For some reason I can't post any comments! So if you have posted something recently and I haven't responded, my deepest apologies...I'm not being's just I can't!


Results 27, 28, 29/03

Indonesia Super League

Arema v Sriwijaya 1-1 (TA Mushafry; Budi Sudarsono) 20,052
Persib v Persipura 2-2 (Airlangga, Herman Abanda; Zah Rahan, Titus Bonai) 25,965

1 - Persipura 18 12 4 2 48-14 40
2 - Persija 17 10 2 5 29-17 32
3 - Semen Padang 18 8 8 2 26-19 32
4 - Persisam 18 9 2 7 22-23 29
5 - Arema 18 7 7 4 27-17 28
6 - Sriwijaya 19 8 4 7 28-24

19 - Boas Solossa (Persipura)
11 - Kenji Adichihara (Bontang)
10 - Marcio Souza (Deltras), Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang)

Divisi Utama

Persikabo v PSLS 2-0 (Zaenal Arief 2) 7,000
Persitara v PSSB 1-0 (Brimo) 503
Persemalra v Persikota 1-0 (John Pattikawa) 2,000
Mitra Kukar v Persik 2-1 (Julien Mbom Mbom, Rully;Adrian Trinidad) 2,711
Gresik United v PSIM 2-0 (Luis Alejandro Pena, Basuki) 5,355
Barito Putra v PSIM 2-1 (Arnaldo Benitez 2; Nanda Setiawan) 3,507
Persiku v Persigo 3-0 (Agus Santiko 2, Dadan Suhenda) 6,736
PSIR v Persebaya 1-2 (M Husen; Kornelis Kaimu, Charles Orock) 10,732
Persiram v PSCS 3-1 (Didi Parov, Gideon Way, Yos Yoppirrayer) 727
Perseman v Persikab 3-0 (Choirul Hoda, Tutug Widodo, Febrian Sofiandi) 5,275
PSAP v Persires 10-0 (Sayuti 2, Osas Marvelous 5, Moussa Traore, Irfan, Suryadi) 3,175
Persiraja v Persih 2-0 (Abdul Musawir 2) 7,051
PS Bengkulu v Persipasi 1-0 (M Iqbal) 5,300

1 - PSAP 20 12 5 3 38-16 41
2 - Persiraja 20 13 2 5 35-21 41

1 - Mitra Kukar 20 12 2 6 31-16 38
2 - PSIM 19 10 3 6 20-14

1 - Persidafon 18 13 3 2 39-8 42
2 - Persiba 19 10 5 4 38-13

25 - Fortune Udo (Persiba)
21 - Osas Marvelous (PSAP)
16 - Patrick Wanggai (Persidafon)

Liga Primer Indonesia

Solo v Aceh United 0-3
Persebaya 1927 v Manado United 3-1
Persibo v Real Mataram 2-1

1 - Persema 10 8 2 0 24-8 26
2 - Persebaya 10 7 2 1 28-7 23
3 - Semarang United 10 7 0 3 13-9 21


Home United v Woodlands Wellington 2-0 (Qiu Li, Frederic Mendy) 1,505
Gombak United v SAFFC 0-1 (Fazrul Nawaz) 1,747
Hougang United v Balestier Khalsa 2-2 (Duncan Elias, Carlos Delgado; Kim Young Kwan 2) 1,239

Thai Premier League

Chonburi v TTM Phichit 2-1
Khon Kaen v Siam Navy 0-0
Police United v Samut Songkram 0-1
Thai Port v Army United 1-0
Chiang Rai United v Si Sa Ket 1-0

1 - Buriram PEA 5 4 1 0 9-2 13
2 - Chonburi 5 3 1 1 12-6 10
3 - BEC Tero 5 3 1 1 7-4

4 - Leandro (Army United), Yeon Gi Sung (TTM Phichit), Ronnachai Rangsyio (BEC Tero), Frank Ohzanda (Buriram PEA)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Arsenal Play In Thailand?

Buriram PEA, under their flamboyant owner Newin Chidchob (named after a Burmese dictator), claim Arsenal will be playing Leicester City to inaugurate their new stadium sometime in July. The same report suggests that Arsenal pulled the plug on a tour of Japan following the earthquake there.

Buriram PEA will win this season's Thai Premier League, it's written in the tea leaves.

Leicester City are 80% owned by Thai investors with Newin believed to be the main man behind the scenes. A controversial figure in Thai politics Newin inherited his own personal fiefdom from old man Chai Chidchob and st about making a name in Thai politics but allegations of voter fraud and corruption have hindered his path to the premiership.

He 'imported' PEA, TPL winners in 2008 (before Thai football was 'discovered' by the masses) in 2010 despite their already being a Buriram team in the league set up, albeit at a lower level then Newin demanded.

Controversy has followed controversy with PEA farming out players on loan to Buriram and sending their coach to Army United, a blatantly political move that no-one seems to worried about.

There is already a dead rubber feel to this year's TPL with many feeling Newin's child have already won the league.

English football though isn't too worried who it takes its money from. It wasn't that long ago that Manchester City were happy to bend over backwards and 'wai' anything that moved to grab former PM Thaksin Shinawatra's cash and now Leicester have taken more Thai baht in the hope they can return to England's top flight.

Is Arsene Wenger, under pressure to increase Arsenal's overseas exposure, going to take his team to some pissant village in the north east of Thailand during the rainy season to sate the lust for admiration of an attention seeking politician of dubious practises?


AFC Accept Mandala Stadium

Bad news for Chonburi and South China.

Persipura have been given the go ahead to use their Mandala Stadium in Jayapura for their remaining AFC Cup games.

There are no direct flights to Jayapura (DJJ) on Garuda, the only airline I would consider for such a trek. You get to transit at places like Denpaser, Timika or Makassar depending on the flight.

Flights east leave late at night which means lengthy waits in uninspiring airport lounges or sat cocooned in the the plane itself while you would arrive in Jayapura early morning feeling totally unrefreshed.

Of course, Indonesia is part of Asia and Jayapura is part of Indonesia so, if their stadium meets requirements, there is no reason why they can't play their home games at, umm, home.

It will certainly be a wake up call for Nicky Butt!


First Past Post For Cambodia League

PHNOM PENH (29 March 2011) –Acquiescing to the requests of teams playing in the Metfone Cambodia League, the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) have decided to scrap the Super Four playoffs.

The Super Four playoffs was introduced by the FFC to decide the Cambodian League champions where after the league stage of home and away, the top four ranked teams are then drawn among each other in a semi-final match up and then the final game.

But with the majority of the participating teams wanting the FFC to stick to the time-tested practice of having the team which picked up the most points at the end of the season taking home the title, FFC acquiesced.

“We are doing away with the playoffs. The team emerging at the top of the league table at the end of the season will get the champions tag,” said May Tola, the deputy secretary of the FFC, this week.

Most of the top tier teams said they preferred a straightforward league format, arguing that the Super Four imposed additional burdens on their squads already under strain from tough competitive conditions.

Meanwhile at the FFC’s annual general meeting on Saturday, FFC general secretary Ouk Sethycheat, who had resigned from his post for personal reasons some time ago, was elected as a member of the executive committee.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Jakarta Casual T Shirts

I floated the suggestion on Twitter yesterday about Jakarta Casual t shirts and was blown away by the positive reaction so ...COMING SOON!

There are a couple of designs in place. Later this week I hope to meet with a manufacturer and discuss timelines and costs. Then I will set up a special website, ok, blog, which will carry full details.

Awesome interest, thanks again...

Sunday, March 27, 2011


SLeague Cares

SINGAPORE, 27 March 2011: Great Eastern-YEO's S.League, Albirex Niigata Singapore and Hidetoshi Nakata’s TAKE ACTION Foundation have today launched S.LEAGUE CARES, TAKE ACTION WITH ALBIREX NIIGATA SINGAPORE, a series of fund-raising events for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

Among the events lined up in the coming week include a Gala Dinner on Thursday, 31st March at Resorts World Sentosa and a Charity Match between the S.League All-Stars and TAKE ACTION With Albirex Singapore Selection side at Jalan Besar Stadium on 2nd April.

A host of Japanese footballing royalty, including former internationals Hidetoshi Nakata, Masaaki Sawanobori and Masakiyo Maezono have confirmed their participation for the TAKE ACTION with Albirex Niigata Singapore Selection side.

Together with current Albirex Niigata (S) players, Coach Koichi Sugiyama has also included Japanese players from other S.League clubs including Tampines Rovers’ Seiji Kaneko, Akihiro Nakamura and Home United’s Kenji Arai.

The S.League All Stars are coached by three-time S.League Coach of the Year, Richard Bok of SAFFC, who will pick a team consisting of local and foreign S.League stars. Richard Bok would be assisted by another Singapore football stalwart, S.Subramani, of Home United.

The Gala Dinner, hosted by Nakata, will see guests having a sit down formal dinner with the Japanese superstar. Nakata has also generously donated memorabilia which will be auctioned at the dinner. Guests could also auction for a “Bench Seat”, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to sit with Nakata and other Japanese stars at the bench during the Charity Game on 2nd April 2011.

Guests can purchase a seat to attend the dinner. They can email the Football Association of Singapore through to get more information about the dinner.

All proceeds raised from the fund-raising events, including the Charity Match will directly support the Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

We have seen the earthquake and tsunami render unimaginable damage on the lives of our Japanese friends,” said FAS President Zainudin Nordin.

Many have already given generously to support the ongoing relief efforts and we are also doing our part, through the S.LEAGUE CARES, TAKE ACTION WITH ALBIREX NIIGATA SINGAPORE series of events.”

Given the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League's close association with Albirex Niigata Singapore and their steadfast support of the FAS since the club's debut in the competition in 2004, it is only right that the S.League is showing support and solidarity to its Japanese brothers.”

We have always maintained close ties with the Japanese community through Albirex and we want to present a camaraderie that can only be found in football.”

On 11th March, a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake occurred near the north-eastern coast of Japan, creating extremely destructive tsunami waves which hit Japan after the earthquake, and triggering evacuations and warnings across the Pacific Ocean.

The earthquake and tsunami have caused extensive and severe damage in north-eastern Japan, leaving thousands of people confirmed dead, injured or missing, and millions more affected by lack of electricity, water and transportation.

In addition to Albirex Niigata Singapore, other S.League clubs have also done their part for the Japanese earthquake relief efforts with Home United, Courts Young Lions and 2010 S.League Champions Etoile donating proceeds from their matches.

Football fans who attend the match can contribute to the relief fund through Red Cross donation boxes which will be placed around the stadium.

Tickets priced at $12 (Grandstand) and $6 (Gallery) for the S.LEAGUE CARES, TAKE ACTION WITH ALBIREX NIIGATA SINGAPORE Charity Match will go on sale from Thursday, 31 March at the Albirex Niigata Singapore office at Jurong East Stadium and the FAS office at Jalan Besar Stadium. VIP tickets will be sold at $200

Saturday, March 26, 2011


What Next, Nurdin?

He's had fans demonstrating against him for so long he hardly ever attends games anymore. The government refused to back his nonsensical world cup bid and have actively opposed him. Boos calling for him to stand down echoed round Bung Karno Stadium at the AFF Cup Final against Malaysia seen and heard around the region. He failed to get appointed to Asian Football Confederation committee scoring on a par with the Timor Leste candidate. He has done his job while locked up on corruption charges. He was reelected a second time despite his candidacy being clearly against FIFA statutes. He has seen clubs defect to an alternate league.

How much more can he take and how much longer before he finally does the decent thing and step down?

Perhaps being humiliated in front of the world governing body might be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back?

Surely we are entering the death throes of the Nurdin regime at the PSSI. The only worry is who will replace him. 'Cos for sure it won't be a breath of fresh air.


Come On You Twits!

Follow me on Twitter for unfunny witticisms, steamy gossip and endless mocking of the afflicted...


Anyone But Buriram PEA

I think I'm gonna drop the Thai Premier League from my list of games to see this season. It's so obvious Buriram PEA will win the title and don't be surprised if Buriram get promoted either. They sit 6th after their opening four games but crucially remain unbeaten.

Back in 2009 it looked like the TPL was on course to become the major league in the region but the nefarious influence of certain individuals, plus your run of the mill incompetence, means that 2010 was, at least in my feeble opinion, a bit of a let down, though I may have had a different view had Bangkok Glass managed to show consistency.

2010 was marred by interminable pre season friendlies and tournaments plus a confused end to the season while 2011 has began in a confusing, and delayed, manner with no one really having an idea when the season may end.

Buriram PEA's narrow 1-0 win away to Pattaya United today sees them five points clear after five games. (Sorry, BEC won so it's three points). If Army United or Police United win their games tomorrow the gap will still be two points but as I said a few days back, there is a depressing familiarity to Thai football these days with old clubs, like PEA, Police and Army, running the show.

Let's hope that isn't the case...


Results 26/03

Indonesia Super League

Bontang v Pelita Jaya 1-2 (Kenji Adichihara; Safee Salee 2)

Liga Primer Indonesia

Persema v Medan Bintang 4-1 (
Batavia Union v Cendrawasih Papua 3-2 (Hary Saputra, Nur Iskandar, Juan Cortes; Yance Yowei, Fred Agius)
Bandung v Bali De Vata 0-1 (Nyoman Armawan)
Bogor Raya v Minangkabau 0-0
Semarang United v Medan Chiefs 0-1 (Laakhadi)
PSM v Jakarta 1-4 (Goran Subara; Sansan, Emmanuel de Porres 3)

Thai Premier League

Pattaya United v Buriram PEA 0-1 (Ozhana)
BEC Tero v Sri Racha 1-0
Muang Thong United v TOT 2-0
Bangkok Glass v Osotspa 2-0


Young Lions v Albirex Niigata 0-5 (Sakaruda, Inui, Kawakami, Hotta, Saito) 1,510


Results 24-25/03

Indonesia Super League

Persib v Persiwa 5-2 (Milan Radovic 3, Airlangga, Hilton Moreira; Ferdinand Sinaga, Habel Satya) 15,458

Divisi Utama

Persita v Persiraja 3-1 (Christian Carasco 2, Rishaudi Fauzi; Christian Bekatal) 14,276
Persipasi v PSAP 3-0 (Arie Supriyatna, Asmar Abu, Zainal Anwar) 8,233
Persih v Pro Titan 3-0 (Zahrul Bin Azhar, Leanardo Veron, Friday Gbeneme) 3,678
Persires v PSMS 1-2 (Choirul Anam; Rinaldo, Gaston Castano) 637
PSBI v PSS 3-0 (Kurniawan, Arifin, Purwanto) 7,985
Persekam v Persiba 2-2 (Harmoko, Abdul Rokhim; Udo Fortune 2) 537
Perseru v Persipro 2-0 (Mamadou Diallo, Aboubacar Camara) 2,518
Persidafon v PSMP 2-0 (Ernest Jeremiah, Patrick Wanggai) 1,173
Persigo v Barito Putra 2-1 (Iksan Abubakar 2; Sartibi Darwas) 625
PSLS v PS Bengkulu 4-0 (Carlos Sciucatti 2, Zulkarnein, Anton Irawan) 5,312
Persikota v Mitra Kukar 1-1 (Hendra Supatro; Erminarno) 3,784
PSIS v Gresik United 1-0 (Rodrigo Santoni) 9,569

1 - Persiraja 19 12 2 5 33-21 38
2 - PSAP 19 11 5 3 28-16 38
3 - Persipasi 19 10 4 5 31-17 34
4 - Persih 18 11 1 6 28-20 34

25 - Udo Fortune (Persiba)
16 - Patrick Wanggai (Persidafon), Osas Marvelous (PSAP)


SAFFC v Tampines Rovers 0-1 (Shadan Sulaiman) 3,008
Balesiter Khalsa v Gombak United 1-2 (Vikraman; Chang Jo Yoon, OG) 1,237

1 - Home United 5 4 1 0 17-2 13
2 - Tampines Rovers 5 4 1 0 13-4 13
3 - Etoile 6 4 1 1 10-3 13
4 - SAFFC 6 4 0 2 11-4 12

5 - Mislav Karolgan (SAFFC)
4 - Aleksander Duric (Tampines Rovers), Maxime Belouet (Etoile)


More English In Asia

No, not a tale about drunken Englishmen's antics in the fleshpots of South East Asia but heady interviews with people in football!

Daniel Bennett - born England, now Singapore international defender
Daniel Hanmmond - ex Cambridge United trainee now in his 4th year in Singapore
Zesh Rehman - former Bradford City, now in Thailand
Lee Hendrie - former England international now in illegal league
David Booth - former Grimsby coach interviewed while coach of Laos national team
Steve Darby - been there, done that in Asia!


Too Many Chiefs

Little late with this but Jorg Steinbrunner has been sacked from his position as coach of Medan Chiefs in the Liga Primer Indonesia. And that's with his team being fourth in the debut season. It's pretty reasonable to expect some departures come the transfer window as probably half the team is there because of him.

Today the guy who owns the Medan Chiefs was quoted in the local media as saying he wants to build his club as a European style club...hmmm. As someone said in Star Wars, you have much to learn, young Luke.

More on this story anon...

Friday, March 25, 2011


Jakarta Casual Debuts In English Media!

OK, a couple of years back I made a fleeting appearance in the Camden & Islington Journal about the death of an Arsenal terrace legend but this time I've made it on to a national broadsheet with an article about Lee Hendrie arriving in Indonesia to play in the Liga Primer Indonesia!

A few weeks back The Independent asked me to pen something about Lee's arrival in Indonesia with Bandung following on from my interview with him on Jakarta Casual TV and of course I was happy to do something so here it is!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


LPI Sponsors

The Liga Primer Indonesia wikipedia page, yeah, I know, not the most reliable of sources, is claiming that Indonesia's rebel league the Liga Primer Indonesia has secured a sponsorship deal with a budget airline.

I also heard the same story from a media source, not Indonesian based.

Now the airline in question are pretty good at promoting themselves and do have a high profile in sports including sponsoring English Premier League refs through part of their operation.

But their website has no mention of this tie up with the LPI and a cursory search through Google also turns up nothing.

Indeed the local part of this airline have been culling domestic flights, now only serving three destinations while many of the international flights are run by the main Malaysian airline. So if this airline is involved is it the HO in Malaysia or the local guys?

The LPI also has a deal in place with Microsoft. Do Microsoft have any record of sports' sponsorship elsewhere? It would be interesting to see what they bring to the table!

While the LPI does have a lot of goodwill towards it with many in Indonesia fed up with the leadership of the FA or PSSI, they have come under flak for some of their outlandish claims since launching in January 2011. The best perhaps being one club, straight faced, saying they are in talks with Dennis Bergkamp or his representatives!


Chonburi Must Fly To Papua?

Persipura's Manadala Stadium, in Jayapura, Papua, is being assessed today by bods from the Asian Football Confederation. If they deem it suitable then Persipura can use the stadium for their two remaining AFC Cup games against Chonburi and South China.

Apparently the big screen wasn't ready and there were issues with the media area as of yesterday. get away! The verififers will give their final decision on Monday.

What about the small matter of the stadium being close to an international airport? Does Sentani Airport serve international flights? Doesn't look like it, does it?

So, if Chonburi do have to fly all the way to Jayapura, perhaps 10 hours including transit from Jakarta, at least Sinthaweechai 'Kosin' Hathairatnakul, can brief the team on what to expect!


Malaysian Standings

Malaysia Super League

1 - Kelantan 7 4 2 1 13-5 14
2 - Felda United 7 4 2 1 8-3 14
3 - Selangor 7 4 2 1 10-6 14
4 - Perak 7 3 4 0 6-2 13

7 - Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan)
4 - Abdul Hadi Yahaya, Ashaaris Samsuddin (Terengganu)

Malaysia Premier League

1 - Selangor PKNS 6 5 1 0 10-1 16
2 - ATM 6 3 3 0 8 3 12
3 - PP USM 6 4 0 2 10-6 12
4 - PDRM 6 3 1 2 11-7 10

6 - Bobby Gonzales (Sarawak)
4 - Khairul Izuan (PDRM)


Malaysia FA Cup 2011 Semi Final Draw


Pahang v Terengganu
Selangor v Kelantan


Terengganu v Pahang
Kelantan v Selangaor

Could be in line for a North East Final if Terangganu and Kelantan get through!


Results 23/03

Indonesia Super League

Sriwijaya v Persipura 0-0 (10,155)
Persiba v Arema 0-0 (4,328)


Geylang United v Hougang United 2-1 (Kim Jae Hong 2; Jordan Webb) 1,076

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Double Header To Raise Cash For Japan

This Saturday sees Young Lions take on Albirex Niigata in the SLeague at 5pm with all proceeds going to help victims of Japan's recent disasters. Following that will be a friendly between SLeague champions Etoile and ASEAN Football Federation Cup winners Malaysia.


World Cup 2014

Asia will begin the race to the FIFA World Cup 2014™. Ahead of the Preliminary Draw in Brazil on 30 July 2011, teams from the Asian continent will contest a preliminary round of matches. The draw for this first round takes place on 30 March 2011 at AFC House in Kuala Lumpur.

The first round will consist of seven home-and-away series, featuring the 14 lowest ranked teams in Asia. The winners of these series will then proceed to a second round.

The draw will take into account the new rankings in the Asian Confederation. These rankings are based on the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa finals as well as the Asian qualifying rounds for the main tournament. The final number of entries was confirmed by FIFA, whereby all teams entered the qualifiers save Bhutan and Guam, who declined the invitation, and Brunei Darussalam, who are still suspended.

Newly crowned Asian champions Japan are the top-ranked team, followed in second place by Korea Republic. Both these sides reached the Round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.Australia and DPR Korea - the two other Asian teams that played in the 2010 FIFA World Cup - and 2010 FIFA World Cup Asian play-off participants Bahrain round out the top five.

Brunei DS, who are currently suspended by FIFA, are the only team not ranked among AFC’s 46 Member Associations.

Rankings for the FIFA World Cup 2014 Asian Qualifiers Round 1

1. Japan,
2. Korea Republic,
3. Australia,
4. DPR Korea,
5. Bahrain,
6. Saudi Arabia,
7. Iran,
8, Qatar,
9. Uzbekistan,
10. UAE,
11. Syria,
12. Oman,
13. Jordan,
14. Iraq,
15. Singapore,
16, China,
17, Kuwait,
18. Thailand,
19. Turkmenistan,
20. Lebanon,
21, Yemen,
22. Tajikistan,
23. Hong Kong,
24. Indonesia,
25. Kyrgyzstan,
26. Maldives,
27. India,
28. Malaysia,
29-30, Afghanistan, Cambodia,
31. Nepal,
32. Bangladesh,
33-34. Sri Lanka, Vietnam,
35. Mongolia,
36. Pakistan,
37. Palestine,
38. Timor Leste,
39. Macau,
40-41. Chinese Taipei, Myanmar,
42-43. The Philippines, Laos


COMMENT - if these rankings are based on the World Cup 2010 and qualifications then how the hell can Indonesia be so high? They got embarrassed 11-1 by Syria home and away. I guess I should do some research and find out how the other nations below them did but I have a family and a day job and an office that is the latest place for trendy young mosquitoes to hang out and sniff the Baygon


Jakarta Globe Column

Busy two weeks for Persipura in the Jakarta Globe


Benteng Stadium

A busy few days for football fans in Tangerang.

21/03 Persikota v Gresik United
22/03 Persita v PSAP
24/03 Persikota v Mitra Kukar
25/03 Persita v Persiraja

Not that Persita fans would watch Persikota or vice versa!

Couple of things strike me about that schedule. Perhaps it's lucky that LPI side Tangerang Wolves have no game scheduled and better pray there's no rain!


A Familiar Gripe

Persija are one of the biggest teams in the country without a doubt. They have some of the biggest names in Indonesian football. Their Jakmania supporters club is one of the most active in the country. Their orange shirts are one of the most identifiable in the country. They are, in short, a footballing brand worth a shit load of money.

But they don't have a website and they don't have any merchandising.It's left to fans to disseminate information to the fans, the club seem to think it is beneath them. Also beneath them, if rumours are true, is paying players on time.

Then we have the wonderfully imaginatively named Jakarta who play in the Liga Primer Indonesia, the rebel league in Indonesia. They boast a website with official replica shirts available. Thing is, the one time I saw them play, at home to Cendrawasih Papua, the crowd wasn't much more than 100. Compare that with the 25,000 plus that frequently attend Persija home games.

Of course, we're not comparing like with like here. Persija date back to 1928, Jakarta date back to January 2011. But they're under the same bloody umbrella!

Not for the first time you're left wondering how the league would be if the current Indonesia Super League teams were professionally run. Admittedly the ISL is trying to get them to be more so but it's all pretty half hearted and anyway why bother when the league is run by such incompetents and results are, allegedly, fixed, before a ball is kicked.


Results 22/03

Indonesia Super League

Persijap v Persija 4-1 (Alberto Gocalves 2, Evaldo Silva, Riski Noviansyah; Agu Casmir) 7,416

Divisi Utama

Persipasi v Persiraja 1-0 (Supriyatna) 6,893
Persita v PSAP 1-0 (Agus Salim) 10,000
Persik v Persis 4-0 (Adrian Trinidad 2, OG, Faris Aditam) 7,355
PSIM v PSIM 1-0 (Wawan Sucahyo) 5,693
PSBI v Persiba 1-0 (Purwanto) 7,899
Persekam v PSS 3-0 (Sudarsono 2, Abdul Rokhim) 2,510

Not a good day for away teams in Indonesia yesterday with only Persija scoring. They took the lead away to Persijap before succombing 4-1 in a really exciting game.

1 - PSAP 18 11 5 2 28-13 38
2 - Persiraja 18 12 2 4 32-18 38
3 - Persipasi 18 9 4 5 28-17 31

1 - Mitra Kukar 18 11 1 6 28-14 34
2 - Persik 18 10 2 6 20-14 32
3 - PSIM 17 9 3 5 19-12 30


Etoile v Tanjong Pagar 3-0 (Hicham Bouchemlal, Jonathon Toto, Nordine Tahli) 778

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Foreign Coaches Banned

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) flexes its muscles in the on going bitter battle with the upstart Liga Primer Indonesia. A whole host of match officials have had their licences revoked while the man whose money is bankrolling the LPI, Arifin Panigoro, has been banned from any football activities under the jurisdiction of the PSSI. Which apparently is enough for him not to be accepted as a candidate as Chairman of the PSSI in later elections.

Also being banned from any football activities under PSSI jurisdiction are four foreign coaches. They include Timo Scheneumann at Persema and Jorg Steinbrunner at Medan Chiefs. The other two are Jose Basualdo and Willy Scheepers.

The latest punishments handed down may or may not have any longetivty. Everything will depend on who takes over at the PSSI. If it's someone who is sympathetic to the LPI then these suspensions will likely be overturned. On the other hand if an ally of the current regieme assumes control then they woud likely enforce the decisions.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Results 21/03

Olympic Games Qualifier

Singapore v Yemen 0-1 (Yemen qualify 3-0 on aggregate)

Again, how anyone can think the UAE is neutral territory between Yemen and Singapore is beyond me. But then, I'm not courting votes am I?

Divisi Utama

Persih v PSMS 3-1 (Leanardo Veron, Friday Gbeneme 2) 4,575
Perseru v PSMP 3-1 (Yoksan Ama, Mamadou Diallo, Jaelaniu Arey; Peter Quoh) 2,518
Persidafon v Persipro 4-0 (Patrick Wanggai 3, Ernest Jeremiah) 1,247
Persebaya v Barito Putra 3-2 (Sackie Doe 2, Charles Orock; NNengue, Mukminin) 1,045
Persires v Pro Titan 0-4
PSSB v PS Bengkulu 3-0
Persikota v Gresik United 0-0
PSIS v Mitra Kukar 2-0
PSCS v Persemalra 3-2


Woodlands Wellington v Tampines Rovers 0-1 (abandoned because of inclement weather. Which means it was pissing down I guess)


Liberian Confusion

Keeping up with events in football here in Indonesia ain't easy. Singapore perhaps is harder given the lack of publicity the game gets there. But what about Liberia?

Persipura playmaker Zah Rahan has been recalled to the Liberian national team for their game against Cape Verde on 26 March in African Nations Cup qualifier. Which means he will miss his club side's crucial Indonesia Super League games against Sriwijaya and Persib.

Reports also suggest John Tarkpor of Persebaya 1927, from the 'illegal' Liga Primer Indonesia, has also been called up for the Liberians.

But then we have this article which shows both names are missing! They also have Sunday Seah, formerly a leading scorer for Persiwa back in goal!


Young Lions Fundraiser

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Results 19-20/03

Olympic Games Qualifier

Yemen v Singapore 2-0

Indonesia Super League

Bontang v Semen Padang 1-1 (Kenji Adichihara; Esteban) 2,350
PSPS v Persiba 2-2 (Nguenheu, Shin Hyun Joon; Asri Akbar, Bahtiar) 16,025
Sriwijaya v Persiwa 2-1 (Keith Kayamba 2; Eddie Foday) 3,121
Persisam v Pelita Jaya 1-0 (Julio Lopez) 10,891

1 - Persipura 16 12 2 2 46-12 38
2 - Persija 16 10 2 4 28-13 32
3 - Semen Padang 16 10 2 4 26-19 32

19 - Boaz Solossa (Persipura)
10 - Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang), Kenji Adichihara (Bontang), Marcio Souza (Deltras)

Liga Primer Indonesia

Bogor Raya v PSM 2-0
Minangkabau v Tangerang Wolves 3-1
Cendrawasih Papua v Persema 1-5
Bali Devata v Batavia Union 0-1
Aceh United v Persibo 1-1
Medan Chiefs v Jakarta 2-1 (Shahril Ishak; De Porres)
Real Mataram v Persebaya 1927 2-6
Medan Bintang v Solo Ksatria 2-1
Manado United v Semarang United 0-2 (Fortes, Komang)

1 - Persema 9 7 2 0 23
2 - Semarang United 9 7 0 2 21
3 - Persebaya 1927 9 6 2 1 20

7 - Juan Cortez (Batavia Union), Irfan Bachdim (Persema)
6 - I Made Wirahadi (Persebaya 1927), Emmanuel de Porres (Jakarta), Fernando Soler (Real Mataram)

Malaysia FA Cup

Terengganu v Perak 3-1 (Terangganu win 5-4 on aggregate)
Johor FC v Selangor 1-2 (Selangor 5-2 on agg)
Felda United v Kelantan 0-3 (Kelantan 5-2 on agg)

Thai Premier League

Army United v Si Sa ket 1-1
Sri Racha v Chiang Rai United 0-0
Samut Songkram v BEC Tero 1-1
TTM Phichit v Khon Kaen 2-1
Thai Port v Bangkok Glass 1-1
Siam Navy v Police United 1-1
Buriram PEA v Chonburi 3-0
TOT v Pattaya United 0-2
Osotsapa v Muang Thong United 5-1

1 - Buriram PEA 4 3 1 0 10
2 - Osotspa 4 2 2 0 8
3 - Army United 4 2 2 0 8
4 - Pattaya United 4 2 2 0 8
5 - Police United 4 2 2 0 8

4 - Leandro (Army United), Yeon Gisung (TTM Phichit)

The 'old' hands are dominating early days in Thailand with PEA, Osotspa, Army and Police leading. Even Pattaya United are Bang Phra rebranded. Teams like Muang Thong United yet to really get going after their frequent changes in the hot seat.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Zesh Returns To International Stage

Muang Thong United's defender Zesh Rehman has been called up by Pakistan ahead of next week's AFC Challenge Cup in Malaysia. Pakistan have been drawn with India, Chinese Taipei and Turkmenistan.

Myanmar are hosting Bangladesh which is interesting. Despite sharing a land border there only used to be one flight a week between Yangon and Dhaka! Cambodia are off to the Maldives where they face the hosts, Tajikistan and the scrabble nightmare Kyrgyzstan. In all my years on this blody rock that's the first time I have ever written that country and I got it wrong!


Results 18/03

Indonesia Super League

Persib v Persija 2-3 (Matsunaga, Abanda; Bambang Pamungkas 2, Oliver Makor) 25,153

Divisi Utama

PSIM v Persis 1-0 (Engkas) 7,823
Persik v PPSM 1-0 (Adrian Trinidad) 5,357
Persekam v PSBI 1-2 (Zainul; Purwanto 2) 9,434
Persiba v Persiku 2-0 (Udo Fortune, Ezequial Gonzalez) 8,343
PSS v PSIR 2-1 (Anang, Ferry; Erpina) 6,995

Adrian Trinidad has hit 13 of Persik's 16 goals this season! I wonder how many have been penalties? Udo his his 23rd of the season as Persiba say 2nd, two points behind Persidafon. Busy day in and around the cultural city of Yogyakarta with the Kraton Derby being edged by PSIM. Persis are 10 points adrift at the bottom of the group while PSIM are second and Persik third.


Tanjong Pagar United v Home United 0-6 (Valery Hiek 2, Frederic Mendy 2, Qiu Li, Asraf Rashid) 1,549

Did we really expect anything other than a Home romp? And isn't that sweet? Tanjong's goals is a mirror image of Home's!

1 - Home United 5 4 1 0 17-2 13
12 - Tanjong Pagar 5 0 1 4 2-17 1

Malaysia FA Cup

Pahang v KL

Friday, March 18, 2011


South East Asian Clubs In AFC Cup

Results this week in the AFC Cup have cemented teams from this region good start to the competition. Sriwijaya needed an injury time winner from Claudiano Do Santos to secure a win against TSW Pegasus in Hong Kong, a win that sees them of the group after two games and goes some way to easing the pain of a draw in their first game at home to a Maldives team.

Tampines Rovers will feel hard done by after being pegged back by Thai champions Muang Thong United. Aleksander Duric, usually described as evergreen, opened the scoring and had chances to finish the game but both sides remain unbeaten with four points from their opening two games. Muang Thong will be the happier of the two having started the season slowly.

Boaz Solossa has been in the ews for the wrong reasons recently but he let his football do the talking against East Bengal in a rain delayed tie for Persipura. He scored one but was truly magnificent, turning in the kind of performance a certain Thierry Henry would have been proud of as he tormented the Indians’ defence with pace and power/


The Last Of The Romanovs

Cendrawasi Papua keeper, Deniss Romanovs, is reportedly ion his way to Europe to join the Latvia side ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier against Israel. That’s one long flight from Jayapura to Riga! I would love to have seen the local travel agent try and get their head round that one!

If this is the case then he would be the first international from the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia to be selected for his country.

Without local FA support the Liga ‘officially’ doesn’t exist in the eyes of FIFA, the world governing body.

Earlier this month the Football Association of Singapore said that current internationals Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak risked being barred from international call up after they had signed for Medan Chiefs, also in the LPI.

Anyway a look at the Latvian FA website shows a squad has been selected for the Israel game but Romanovs name is not included.


SLeague Attendances

A Singapore newspaper is reporting that of last night’s near 2,000 attendance for the Albirex Niigata v Etoile game, only 490 were paying spectators! The rest were freebies, media and security personnel! And ballboys.

But you know what? That official attendance doesn’t actually reflect the number of people who actually went to the stadium. Say for example one of the sponsors is given 10 free tickets then that 100 is included in the grand total. Irrespective of whether or not people used the ticket. Stay at home watching TV and they would still be counted as part of the official attendance.

Now, to be fair to the SLeague they aren’t exactly covering up this massaging of the numbers. They release a sheet to the media telling them the breakdown of the crowd for each game. The media don’t report on the bloody game anyway so the SLeague could hand out the complete works of Pol Pot in the original Khmer, nobody would notice.

So, why then are they doing it? The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League require a national league to average 5,000 fans per game and massaging or no there is no way the SLeague is gonna achieve that.

Is it to impress sponsors? Make them believe there are people out there noticing their product when in fact there aren’t that many? if so then if I were a sponsor I would not be a happy bunny. I would want the organization receiving my money to be up front and open about everything.

Is it to convince the football public there are larger crowds? Again, that is shooting themselves in the foot. We’re in the 21st century now and anyone treating their customers, and potential customers, with such disdain is looking at a very short shelf life.

It is most unlikely the Football Association of Singapore is going to come out anytime soon and say why they release such ‘creative’ attendance numbers and any attempt to defend the notion that ballboys and the gatemen are part of the official attendance would be laughed at across the media and message boards that love a good whine at the expense of Singapore football.

Far better just to drop the façade and start releasing the number of fans who pay to watch the game and do away with this whole nonsense of freebies.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Trains Cancelled Ahead Of Big Clash

Indonesian Railways have rerouted and cancelled some trains ahead of Persib's game with Persija tomorrow.

They cite instances of damage caused by football fans using trains in the past to attend games and, in some instances, deaths when young fans have fallen from the roof of trains.

Shame. Travelling by train to football is an essential part of the 'football experience' (this does not include the MRT in Singapore) in many countries.

I'm sure there will be a couple of people reading this who remember the football specials in England and free tickets from washing up powder!


Persib v Persija Head To Head

Liga Super Indonesia (ISL) 2010/2011

Persib vs Persija: ?
Persija vs Persib : 3-0

Liga Super Indonesia (ISL) 2009/2010 :
Persib 0-0 Persija
Persija 2-2 Persib

Liga Super Indonesia (ISL) 2008/2009
Persija 1-2 Persib
Persib 2-3 Persija

Liga Indonesia 2007
Persib 3-0 Persija
Persija 1-0 Persib

Liga Indonesia 2006
Persija 0-0 Persib
Persib 1-1 Persija

Liga Indonesia 2005
Persib 1-1 Persija
Persija awd Persib

Liga Indonesia 2004
Persija 1-0 Persib
Persib 0-0 Persija

Liga Indonesia 2003
Persija 3-0 Persib
Persib 1-2 Persija

Liga Indonesia 2002
Persija 2-0 Persib
Persib 1-1 Persija

Liga Indonesia 2001
Persib 0-1 Persija
Persija 3-0 Persib

Liga Indonesia 1999/2000
Persija 2-1 Persib
Persib 2-3 Persija

Liga Indonesia 1998/1999
Persib 1-3 Persija
Persija 1-0 Persib

LI 1994/1995
Persija vs Persib 1-1
Persib vs Persija 2-1

Source VIVAnews

Persija P 24 W 13 D 8 L 3 F 36 A 20

Persib P 24 W 3 D 8 L 13 F 20 A 36

Last meeting on Jakarta Casual TV and Asian Football Pictures


Results 16/03

AFC Champions League

Arema v Jeonbuk Motors 0-4 27,910


Persipura v East Bengal 4-1 (Boas Solossa, Stevie Bonsapia, Lukas Mandowen, Titus John) 700
TSW Pegasus v Sriwijaya 1-2 (Kayamba, Dos Santos) 1,385
Tampines Rovers v Muang Thong United 1-1 (Duric; Phitchitipong) 1,975
Chonburi v South China 3-0 (Nattapong, Therdsak, Arthit) 6,500

Divisi Utama

Persikab v Persemalra 5-2


Indonesian Wants To Buy ALeague Club?

FFA accused of lacking respect for investors

FOOTBALL Federation Australia's caution in considering two potential bids for A-League clubs from wealthy foreign owners is symptomatic of its inability to engage with the Asian region, says the man who found the investors.

Consultant Tony Rallis says Australian football is attracting genuine interest from the Middle East and south-eastern Asia but the FFA is dithering over whether it is legitimate.

That is disrespectful, according to Rallis, who says he had Saudi royal Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Nasser, a football fanatic, interested in a controlling stake in Brisbane Roar, while Indonesian billionaire Aburizal Bakrie is keen to buy the Central Coast Mariners.

However, the negotiations have been delayed by the FFA, and Rallis says he is flabbergasted at how the governing body has not accommodated what he believes would mark a flurry of foreign dollars into the game.

''The FFA needs to start showing some respect when people of this magnitude are interested in getting involved in the game,'' he said. ''And I'm not going to embarrass myself, either. These are very serious football people who I've spoken to about Australia and they have no doubt that this is a market they want to break into. They see the potential here that doesn't exist in other places.

Skip to top | bottom

''But if the FFA continues to act in this manner, they risk losing not only these two, but the rest of the Asian investors who would then come rushing in. Think about how many players went overseas in the last transfer window. By my count, 12 of 14 went to Asia. They're our new trading partners in football and it's where our focus has to be …

''We shouldn't be scared of Asia. It's where our football future lies, and once we demonstrate a willingness to work with them, and that we are patient enough to learn how they do business, we'll reap the rewards.''

While the FFA believes the Roar are a premium A-League club capable of attracting a big-name and big-spending investor, it is concerned about the situation unfolding on the Central Coast. The Mariners' financial situation is perilous and they require an immediate injection of $500,000 to stay afloat.

That situation could be alleviated straight away if Bakrie was to assume ownership of the club, a prospect he will consider when he inspects the properties owned by the club, including the soon-to-be completed Centre of Excellence.

''The Bakrie family owns 20 per cent of Leicester City, a Belgian club, Indonesian club Pelita Jaya … and they have some very good reasons for wanting to get involved with the Mariners,'' Rallis said. ''They'll be out here soon to have a look around before the end of the month. I'm still hopeful that deal can proceed.''

However, his enthusiasm for getting a deal done with Brisbane is waning. Club consultant Michael Bowers has requested direct dialogue with the Saudi prince, who is chairman of regional powerhouse Al-Nassr, a club he effectively underwrites for $35 million each year.

''[Direct contact] is almost impossible for a range of reasons, but the fact is that I have a letter from Prince Faisal expressing a genuine interest,'' Rallis said. ''Brisbane is a club he likes because they a genuine football club with big potential. Melbourne Heart and a future western Sydney club also appeal to him. The Arabs are in tune with what makes a football club.''

FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said he would look into the potential investors further if he could speak to them in person.

''Any party who has the right motivation and the financial resources to invest in the A-League is welcome to let us know of their interest and we'd be crazy not to explore those interests,'' Buckley said. ''And if the motivations are right, we'd pursue them in a more formal manner. In recent days I have made contact with one of the overseas parties referenced and I'm in the process of making contact with the other.

''I know plenty of people associated with both parties through the work I do on various AFC committees, so our first port of call is to make direct contact ourselves to gauge their interest. Then we'd have to make sure they'd want to maintain the local identities of the clubs and keep local people involved.''

COMMENT - I think the FFA are right to tread cautiously. A Belgian club? Which Belgian club? (Anderlecht).

Anyway why would this gentleman be so keen on buying a club in Australia? It would just be throwing good money down the pan. It would be a bottomless pit. I mean, no disrespect but Australian football is hardly a gold mine...

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