Sunday, September 27, 2015


Persebaya's Name Change Adds To Farce

Last weekend in the President Cup Persebaya United defeated Sriwijaya 1-0 thanks to an 83rd minute goal from Slamet Dwi Cayoho. Today they meet in the second leg of their quarter final tie with one difference. Persebaya United are now called Bonek United.

Yep, you read that right. Midway through a competition a football club has decided to change its name and indeed its badge.

In one respect this is a victory for the fans of Persebaya  who are known as Bonek. They have never regarded Persebaya United, nee Persebaya, nee Persikubar, as their team from their city. When the rebel league was formed in 2011 the Bonek en mass followed Persebaya 1927.

Quite Persebaya United carry on is beyond me. The fans have long voted with their feet; an estimated 25,000 turned out for a friendly between Persebaya 1927 and Persibo ahead of the recent Independence Cup Final while there has been little to no interest in United's attempts in the President Cup.

The name change is a naked attempt to get fans on their side but it is doomed to failure and it is time the whole sorry saga was put to bed once and for all. A strong Persebaya with their passionate fans will generate more interest in Indonesian football. The current farce just ensures the laughs won't go away.

Indeed as I type this comes news Persebaya United/Bonek United have pulled out of their tie with Sriwijaya due to be played today...There seems to be a large crowd in Palembang for the tie and officials are discussing whether to play the game or not!

UPDATE - game awarded 3-0 to Sriwijaya. Bonek United stayed in the dressing room it seems.

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