Monday, April 27, 2015


Arema's SLeague Gambit

Not for the first time in recent years we have an Indonesian club hinting they may join the SLeague. Earlier this year it was Sriwijaya. Now we have Arema, one of the clubs at the heart of a shitstorm kicked up by the powers that be that has seen the ISL put on hold.

Arema are suggesting the ISL cannot carry on with a 16 team format as that is a FIFA requirement. Perhaps they are not aware the SLeague they are seducing with puppy eyes has only 10 teams, three of them foreign, and the Malaysian Super League has only 12?

Anyway while it would obviously be a lot of fun to see Arema and the Aremania descend on Singapore on a regular basis, there are large numbers of migrant workers in Singapore and across the border in Malaysia, how would the Singapore authorities react to loads of foreigners turning up to support their team in their clean and pleasant homeland? Remember in recent months they have effectively turned away Malaysian and Johor Darul Takzim fans for fear they would cause problems.

There is a arrogance of course on behalf of Arema at play here. As if the SLeague would welcome a new team a third of the way into the season! One thing about the SLeague, they have their fixtures arranged in advance and they are sticklers for regulations, they are not going to admit a new club willy nilly like the ISL did when they allowed Pelita Bandung Raya to become Persipasi Bekasi Raya two rounds in.

Of course the claim Arema could join the SLeague is probably is just not very good rhetoric. If the IS ultimately bans them do you think FIFA would allow them to play overseas?

Mind you, in my flights of fancy the idea of Arema in Singapore is a delicious one. Imagine, big crowds, passionate, the more I think of it the more aghast the Football Association of Singapore would be. They are doing their best to kill the game, the last thing they need is a surge of interest!

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