Thursday, March 30, 2017


New Season, New Organisers, New Regulations

With the new season scheduled to start 15 April the league held a manager's meeting yesterday in Jakarta gathering representatives from the 18 competing teams along with people from the PSSI and other administrative bodies.

I tend not to talk too much about the league organisers. Suffice to say there are a separate body to the PSSI. Back in the days of the Indonesia Super League they were known as Liga Indonesia. During the Indonesia Soccer Championship they were called GTS. This year Liga Indonesia Baru. The chief commissioner is Glenn T Sugita who is also involved with Persib.

Ok, so what was discussed? The league starts 15th April and is scheduled to end 12th November. A seven month season does seem to be on the short side. I don't know if that includes a break for the SEA Games or not. Oh, Liga 1 has a new sponsor, well sponsors, and will be known as GO-JEK Traveloka Liga 1. The opening game of the season sees Persib host Arema at Bandung Laut Api Stadium in Bandung.

The first transfer window opens 1st April and shuts 30th April while the second window opens 1st August and shuts 30th August.

Seven Liga 1 games will be televised live each week. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will each have two games broadcast while Monday night football will continue with an evening game.

Regarding players. Each team is allowed two non Asian and one Asian players in their squad plus one marquee player. Till now it seems only Persib have gone down the marquee route with Michael Essien. It looks like Madura United failed in their bid to sign Peter Odemwingie even though he signed a contract.

Five Under 23 players must be included in each match day squad with at least three starting. They must play for at least 45 minutes. Each club is also allowed two players over the age of 35.

Perhaps the most controversial new regulation sees each club allowed to make five substitutions per match. Potentially 10 breaks for subs, one water break each half, a break while players roll around on the floor feigning injury, time wasting tactics. We could see games have more breaks than American football.

Interestingly no prize money is on offer this season despite the number of sponsors involved. The LIB feel that as they already give each club a cash subsidy of Rp 7.5 billion and there will be plenty of money available from TV appearances that will be sufficient. Certainly more than clubs have received in recent years. For example when Persib won the iSL in 2014 they pocketed Rp 3 billion.

Ok, that is a brief overview of how the new season will look in the top flight. Sadly I won't be around for the opening games but will be in situ for Week 2. I hope the app will be up and running by then as well as live streaming of the games.

Exciting times lie ahead...

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