Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Doubling Up

The old adage is that everything has been done before, there ain't nothing new under the sun. I always believed that myself. That was until i started covering Indonesian football; now I expect the new or outrageous and I must admit I am disappointed when something normal happens.

You will be aware, no doubt, that Indonesia has two leagues up and running for the second consecutive season. One is recognised by the local FA, the other ain't. You may even recall there are teams in each league which share names, Persija, Arema, Persebaya among them, with varying degrees of acceptance among the local community.

This weekend sees Arema, the LPI version, take on Persija, the IPL version. Arema features the players from last season's ISL but with a new, IPL friendly ownership while Persija can't even play their home games in their home city of Jakarta yet; possibly aware of embarrassingly low attendances.

Arema and Persija will also meet later in the ISL; obviously different teams.

But recently there have been reports that there are two different Aremas preparing for the IPL game against Persija this weekend. Yep, two different squads.

I don't know how they do it and frankly at times I don't care. Indonesian football's value comes from the nonsense off the field far more than any action on it and long may it continue.

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