Sunday, July 01, 2012


Riot Doesn't Happen At Indonesian Game Shock

It was Arema's last game of what has been a disappointing season yet still the fans made the journey out to Kanjurahan Stadium for the local derby with Persegres. Or Gresik United. Whatever you wanna call them.

I got into the stadium a full 90 minutes before kick off and the terraces were full. Perhaps not chocca but full all the same. Yet there were thousands more still outside parking their motorcycles and looking forward to the game.

Security officials were forced to let fans spillover from the terraces to just in front, level with the pitch but still a fair distance from the players thanks to the running track.

Persegres bought a fair amount of support, too much for their enclosure so they too were allowed pitch side. Where they mingled with Arema fans who were already there and right in front of a huge terrace full of Arema fans.

Dangerous? A recipe for disaster?

You'd have thought so wouldn't you? But oh no. Did it kick off? Did the home fans get all tribal and kick out the visiting hoardes? Did it bollocks.

The fans in yellow did their thing all through the game. they sang, the danced and they exchanged banter with the Arema fans above them but things never kicked off.

So unconcerned were the security officials just a few feet in front of them that they rarely took their attention from the game to watch for potential trouble. In England they would have solely watched the fans. Scratch that; in England they would never been let in.

If I had a hat I would take it off to them fans who ripped up the stereotype of the Indonesian football fan. In fact, sod it. I'm gonna buy a hat just so I can take it off.

NOTE - I can only talk about what happened during the game. After the final whistle I headed straight back to idea if anything happened then.

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