Sunday, April 17, 2016


ISC Gets Presidential Green Light

The Indonesia Soccer Championship has been given the green light to start at the end of this month but the Indonesia Super League won't be happening this year. Both feature 18 clubs, the same 18 clubs so what is the difference?

Um, the ISC is being organised by a different company! Same people, they have just formed a different company and that seems to be enough for the president of the country to say go ahead. Both the government appointed transition team and BOPI, under the sports ministry, continue to have doubts about the ISC and refused to give permission for it to go ahead but they have been trumped by the president saying ok.

Oh the irony of Indonesian football which has been suspended by FIFA for political interference.

The ISC, which is looking to announce a sponsor this coming week, does differ from the ISL in a couple of respects. As it stands there will be no relegation to the ISC B and likewise no promotion. I guess this is a fluffy way of promotors saying 'look, we are not a league, we are a tournament!'.

The other difference lies in how the fixtures have been arranged. Traditionally Indonesia fixture lists have paired clubs and had them play two home games followed by two away games in roughly the same geographic location. So for example Persija and Sriwijaya would be paired together and when it comes to playing away one would be in Persipura and the other Perseru before swapping and then returning home.

The plus to this is it reduced travel times in this large country. Why travel to Papua twice when you can do it once. The economies of scale are obvious. The down side is teams were faced with a season of playing every four or five days with little down time because of the travel. The new format allows for one home, one away and just one game a week for players.

There will be a few new faces in the ISC after a flurry of mergers and takeovers that leave the City of London looking like a day at the beach.  Pelita Bandung Raya are now Madura United. Persebaya are now Surabaya United Bhayangkara and Persiram have yet to hit on a new name but they have been taken over by PS TNI. Are you keeping up at the back?

Unless there are any more twists or turns the ISC season kicks off 29 April with Persipura hosting Persija

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