Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Persib Fans Unhappy At Going Solo

If the Indonesia Soccer Championship has been anything it has been good for groundhoppers with a number of clubs being forced to play their home games at different venues.

PS TNI started the trend. They played their opening two games at Siliwangi Stadium (left) in Bandung but then decided they would move their base to Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, near Bogor where they get to use a new stadium that stands mostly empty for their home games.

Persib have also been forced to scratch around for a stadium. They started the campaign at Si Jalak Harapat in Soreang before switching to Bandung Lautan Api Stadium when the former had to be closed for renovations ahead of the National Games which West Java is hosting.

The BLA Stadium was used for a couple of games before that too was shut for renovations and they were forced to look elsewhere before deciding to share Pakansari Stadium. However that looks to be a short term option too as they have been told they can't use it for the Arema game. The reason? It too is being renovated ahead of the National Games!

Manahan Stadium has been suggested for future home games, including Arema but Persib fans reject this idea. They say the city of Solo is closer to Malang than it is to Bandung and there would be more away fans at the game, putting their team at a disadvantage. They suggest Ciamis!

Then of course there is Persija who move from stadium to stadium with monotony every season. They started 2016 at the Bung Karno with 50,000 watching them play Semen Padang. Their last home game against Mitra Kukar was played in Solo with about 3,500 watching. Before that they played a home game against Madura United in Madura and looking ahead they were tempted to pay their home game against PSM in Makassar!

\Now we have news that Arema themselves maybe playing the occasional home game at the Gajayana Stadium in Malang following a request from the city mayor. It could make sense. Gajayana is a decent stadium in the centre of the city and is easier to get to than the Kanjuruhan Stadium which has a bigger capacity but is hard to get to. And with Arema fans not exactly filling the stadium despite the decent form their team has been showing maybe the city centre option might entice a few more to attend the games.

I guess if the frequent stadium changes highlight anything it is the dearth of decent venues across the country and of course the lack of club owned stadia but then that is unlikely to happen any time soon!

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