Thursday, July 31, 2008


From MSL to MLS for James?

Taken from the Star in Malaysia

Thursday July 31, 2008
Kedah expect James to honour his contract
GEORGE TOWN: Kedah expect wantaway hot-shot Marlon Alex James to play on until his contract ends on Aug 31.
Kedah team manager Datuk Othman Aziz said he expects all his players, both local and foreign, to honour their contracts.
James: Upset with coach Mohd Azraai Khor for backing the FA of Malaysia’s proposal to do away with foreigners next season.
He was commenting on James’ wish to prematurely terminate his contract with the Canaries.
The St Vincent and Grenadines striker had announced on Tuesday that he wanted to leave Kedah as he and team-mate Bernard Huggins had received an offer to play for San Jose Earthquakes in Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.
James was also upset with Kedah coach Mohd Azraai Khor for backing the FA of Malaysia’s (FAM) proposal to do away with imports next season. (The FAM had conducted a brain-storming session last week to discuss ways to revive Malaysia’s footballing fortunes.)
“I am shocked and surprised at Marlon’s outburst because, as far we are concerned, the issue to do away with foreign players next season are mere proposals,” Othman said in a telephone interview from Alor Star yesterday.
“I have been told that the FAM council will meet on Saturday and, even then, I do not know if the proposal will be brought up at all.
“Marlon has jumped the gun by announcing his intentions to quit. But I expect all my players to fully respect and observe the terms and conditions of the contracts they have signed with us.”
Azraai, meanwhile, clarified that he was one of two coaches (the other being Selangor’s Dollah Salleh) who were against doing away with the services of foreign players during the brain-storming session.
“But the majority of those at the session felt that we should do away with the foreign players due to the financial difficulties faced by most of the teams,” said Azraai.
Azraai warned James against voicing his displeasure in public and to honour his contract.
“We have enjoyed a good relationship in his two years with us and I hope this will continue.
“We also have a few more crucial Malaysia Cup matches to tackle. So let’s just stay focused on our tasks and get the job done in the most professional manner.”
The Canaries, who have already retained the Super League title and FA Cup crown, have also confirmed their place in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals.
Kedah, the Malaysia Cup defending champions, are on the verge of repeating the treble



Uniforms on Top

Sorry but if you've been googling some porn you have come to the wrong site.

Tomorrow at Jalan Besar sees first against second as SAF, coached by Richard Bok, collide with Home United in the race for this year's SLeague.

The Warriors have the advantage, six points worth, and a healthy goal difference while the Protectors will rue consecutive home defeats which coincided with me being in town.

This game goes out live on Singapore TV but it would be great to see a bumper crowd inside the stadium. 33,000 turned out for a recent friendly against Brazil and while that ain't going to happen domestically perhaps 3,000 +++ would be nice?


The Final Word on the Singapore Under 16s

While watching the recent ASEAN Under 16s I made copious notes about the performances of Malayisa, Singapore and Indonesia sad git that I am.

My Singapore article appears on their FA website. The others I fear may never see the light of day though with the nonsense surrounding the ISL I pine evermore for the haclyon days at Lebak Bulus.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Chelsea Beat Malaysia

Nothing on the Malaysian FA website about it. Nothing on the Star newspaper website about it. Instead I had to go running to the 'official' Chelsea website to learn they had beaten Malaysia 2-0 despite the home team providing their 'sternest test yet.'

No doubt Malaysian 'football fans' went home happy, delighted to have see their heroes in the flesh and looking forward to the next round of Malaysian Cup fixtures this Saturday.


Security Trumps Football

The new ISL season began under a cloud of confusion with rumours rife that some clubs would not finish the season and now, some three rounds in, those rumours have intensified, not lessened as confusion reigns.

Last Monday's local derby clash between Persija and Persita was cancelled after the police refused to give permission for the game to go ahead leaving thousands of disappointed fans milling round the Bung Karno Stadium in down town Jakarta.

Even before this announcement, home fans were considering boycotting the game in protest at the percieved high prices of tickets.

Several months ago, after intense lobby of the Sports Minister, Persija recieved permission to use Indonesia's premier sporting venue for the ISL but, push comes to shove, it ain't happening 'cos the bobbies won't let it. Financial forecasts can be torn up in this brave new world of privatised football all because a few thousand school kids can't be controlled!

The recent Jakarta derby, played four hours south of the capital, was also played without fans because the security officials couldn't handle the kids.

Away fans weren't needed at Siliwangi Stadium for the Persija v Persib clash and there was still a riot. A riot that was allowed to peter out before any firm action was taken by the security officials. Just how were kids allowed to climb the fences and destroy a TV camera gantry with immunity? These guys could teach diplomats a thing or two.

The ISL is in danger of being hijacked by the threat of riot and the fear the security forces can't handle it.

Now, on Wednesday morning, we are still none the wiser as to when the Persija v Persita game will go ahead. Friday has Persija scheduled to play Persijap...

Who runs football here?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Richard Bok Interview

On my last trip to Singapore I sat down with SAF coach Richard Bok and discussed his latest challenge. Winning the AFC Cup.

Find the story here.


New Blog!

With the English season almost upon us I have decided to add a blog dedicated to rants about the game there. Premier League Nonsense is what it says on the lid allowing this here site to concentrate purely on the game in South East Asia.

No more Arsenal stuff here...promise!


37 Yellow Cards in Thailand!!

It rained goals and cards last weekend in the TPL with eight yellow and two red at Sinthana's clash with Chonburi. Not much kwam pen thai lah!

TOT v Bangkok Bank 2-1
Sinthana v Chonburi 0-0
Customs v Port 3-2
BEC Tero v Bangkok University 3-0
Nakorn Pathom v Army 1-0
Bang Phra v KTB 1-0
Osotspa v TTM 1-0
PEA v Samut Songkram 1-0

1. BEC Tero 17 10 3 4 31-16 33
2. PEA 17 10 3 4 17-10 33
3. Chonburi 17 8 8 1 20-9 32
4. TOT 17 9 5 3 22-13 32


ISL Weekend

Persiwa v Persitara 2-0 (Jhon, Imanuel Padwa) 4,000
PKT v Deltras 2-1 (Wifredo, Miftihul Huda; Roberto Acosta) 4,500
Persela v Persijap 1-0 (Marcio Souza) 7,000
Persipura v Persib 1-0 (Ian Luis Kabes) 15,000
Arema v Pelita Jaya 0-2 (Lopes 2) 35,000
Persiba v PSM 1-1 (Musafri; Baretto) 16,000
Persik v PSIS 4-0 (Gonzales 3, Danilo) 15,000
Persija v Persita - scheduled for Monday night but still to be played at a venue to be decided

Top Scorers

4 - Lopes, Gonzales
3 - Musafri, Souza


1. Pelita Jaya 3 2 1 0 4-1 7
2. Persipura 3 2 1 0 4-2 7
3. Persik 3 2 0 1 6-2 6
4. Persija 2 2 0 0 6-3 6
5. Arema 3 2 0 1 4-3 6


Brazil Triumph

Brazil beat Singapore 3-0 last night at Kallang with goals from Diego 20', Ronaldinho Gaucho 27' and Jo 81'

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Persik Set the Standard

Persik Kediri didn't just tear PSIS Semarang apart. They ripped them to shreds in an exhilirating first half, chewed them up, spat them out then rubbed their faces in the turf.

The White Tigers went in at half time two goals up, both by Gonzalez, but it could have been, should have been more.

Poor PSIS. They had a go but against Persik in this form anyone would struggle. It can't have been easy for the side without a coach to face a rampaging side boasting firepower like Gonzalez, Fagundez, Danilo and Sudarsono with Hamka Hamza getting forward to offer support.

Even when Sudarsono, so impressive against New Zealand for Indonesia, went off he was replaced by another international striker in Saktiawan Sinaga.

One Gonzalez goal had a touch of Dennis Bergkamp as he flicked the ball over his head and marker, swiveled and volleyed home. And as for Danilo's last minute strike!

This was sexy football that Ruud Gullit could only dream of and it comes from the pissant town of Kediri miles from anywhere. 10 corners in the first half alone tells a tale, it must have been daunting for the visiting defence, Rorkes Drift in the foot hills of Javanese volcanos.

The final whistle couldn't have come soon enough for shell shocked PSIS but I loved it!

Persik v PSIS 4-0 (Gonzalez 3, Danilo)


Fandi's Boys go Top

Pelita Jaya beat unbeaten Arema Malang 2-0 in East Java with two goals from Cristian Lopez to go one point clear of erstwhile leaders, Arema.

They pretty much controlled the game from start to finish and Arema hardly threatened Dian Agus in the PJ goal as Mbamba and Serge were kept on a tight leash by Firman Utina and company.

In the other game Persipura defeated Persbib 1-0 to share top spot with PJ.


Persela Triumph

Marcio Souza scored again for Persela as they beat Persijap 1-0 in yesterday's only ISL game.

Today sees Arema, one of only two teams with a 100% record, take on Pelita Jaya in Arema.


Persija Threaten to Withdraw

After weeks of fun and games involving Persitara now Persija are threatening to pull out of the Super League before they have even played a home game.

Local police have refused to allow fans to attend tomorrows game with Persita for fear of crowd trouble and Persija have reacted furiously.

The club president Bambang has said it is better if they pull out of the league rather than play in empty stadiums.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Persita Head East

It's a funny old league this here ISL.

Medan play in Jakarta which is two hours flying time from their home support. Persitara are the orphans of the league while Pelita Jaya thought sod this and changed their name to reflect their new stadium.

Even on Kalimantan Persiba have shifted a two hour drive south to play in Samarinda.

Now Persita, based in Tangerang, a grungy industrial 'burb west of Jakarta, have moved to the Javanese cultural heartland of Solo.

Wonder how many of their fans make the journey?


The English are Coming!

Next months sees Indonesia host an Independence Cup competition and they really have whetted the football fans' appetite.

England are coming as are Brazil and Saudi Arabia to do battle with Benny Dollo's men. Ticket prices and match details have yet to be arranged but some domestic games will have to be rearranged.

Actually, I'm writing bollox!

Maldives, Cambodia, Myanmar and Libya will join the full Indonesia side and the Under 23s.

Fooled you though, eh?


Persitara Lose

You goota admire Persitara's stubborness.

They arrived in Wamena for yesterday's game against Persiwa three hours before kick off and about 36 hours after leaving Jakarta!

They were a goal down in the first minute and they must have feared the worst but they hung on in there and only lost 2-0.


5,000 Rupiah

Two games into the season and Persija fans have yet to see their team in the flesh. They were banned from travelling to the Persitara game because no one had told the police a game was taking place and Persib away...well, no bugger in their right mind goes there.

Now there is talk of their supporters boycotting their first home match against Persita on Monday.

The cheapest tickets cost 15,000 rupiah which fans say is too high and they are pushing for 10,000. A difference of 55 cents.

If prices aren't reduced the fans may boycott the game.

But that they try that in England!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Chonburi Cash In

In a league where teams like TOT, KTB and PEA hardly roll off the toungue it is hardly surprising that a club that appeals to a region is finding success both locally and regionally.

Chonburi is on the eastern seaboard of Thailand, a booming area of industrial parks and tourism. Now they have secured a healthy dose of cash to develop their new stadium and raise their profile.

Taken from the Bangkok Post

Big boost for Chonburi

Thailand Premier League champions Chonburi FC received a huge financial boost when they signed a sponsorship deal worth 18 million baht with Hemaraj Land and Development Plc yesterday. The property developer will be the club's main sponsor for three years starting next season.
Chonburi manager Vittaya Khunpluem said the money would help strengthen the team's bid in the Thai league and the AFC Champions League.
The club is constructing a new 15,000-seat stadium to be their home ground which is expected to be complete in the middle of next year, he said.
Vittaya said the club aimed to become the number one football team in Thailand in terms of both results and marketing.
Arguably the best organised football club in Thailand, Chonburi are looking for players from Brazil, Argentina, Ivory Coast and Cameroon, he said.
Hemaraj chairman Sawad Horrungruang said the firm, whose main business is in Chon Buri and Rayong, wanted to help encourage the young to play sports.
He hoped that the sponsorship would also help football development in Thailand in general.



The Persitara Farce!

It gets better!

They were due to play Persiwa in Papua later on today, Friday, so they set off on Wednesday night as best as I could make out.

They flew from Jakarta to Makassar which is the main access to Eastern Indonesia and, very likely, they are still there!

If they are lucky they will arrive in Wamena two and a half hours before kick off!!! If they can get the connections!

This football club, no money, no stadium, can't afford a direct flight to the distant island of Papua so have been looking for the chapest flights available.

Imagine this. 22 players and officials of a professional football club milling round dimly lit airports waiting for some cheap tickets!

How much longer must this farce be allowed to continue?

Forever I hope. The world's sporting media are missing out on a classic Laurel and Hardy story here while they allow themselves to be manipulated by greey players and gents.

Fuck Ronaldo and Adebayor, what's the latest with Persitara?!


SAF Six Clear

SAF went back to being 6 points clear last night of the SLeague after beating Young Lions 2-0 thanks to goals from Aleksandar Duric 3' and Ashrin Shariff 90'.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Musafri For Indonesia

One of the few Indonesians to have scored in the new ISL season, Musafri has already impressed people who have seen him.

Now his coach, for West Ham player Peter Butler, is calling for him to step up to the national team.

The Persiba striker doesn't appear to have much in the way of competition. There is Bambang Pamungkas, the only shoo in. Boaz Solossa is still feeling his way back after injury.

Bambang's team mate at Persija Aliyudin as been partnering his mate recently while Pelita Jaya striker Rudi Widowo also gets the odd run out.

And that's it!

On other occasions Budi Sudarsono or Firman Utina get pushed forward but neither are typical strikers.


Homing In

The SLeague is starting to look more and more familiar.

Last night Home United beat Woodlands Wellington 1-0 to move second on 44 points, ahead of Super Reds on goal difference but three points behind leaders SAF who have played a game less.


Kedah Come From Behind

Date: 24/07/2008, Source: Malay Mail

SUPER LEAGUE and FA Cup champions Kedah showed no mercy when they annihilatedPenang 6-2 at the Darul Aman Stadium in Alor Star yesterday.SUPER LEAGUE and FA Cup champions Kedah showed no mercy when they annihilated Penang 6-2 at the Darul Aman Stadium in Alor Star yesterday.
The Canaries were given an early scare after Penang scored their first goal in the ninth minute through Farizal Rozali.
The Hijau Kuning fans were silenced after the Islanders got their second goal through an own goal by Kedah’s V. Thirumurugan in the 17th minute.
However, Kedah’s gritty Fadly Baharom scored twice in the 32nd and 40th minutes while Khyril Muhymeen Zambri (pic) also bagged a brace in the 51st and 72nd minutes.
Not to be outdone, imports Nelson San Martin and Marlon Alex James scored a goal each in the 59th and 74th minutes respectively.
The win put Kedah on top of Group B with 18 points while Penang are bottom with only four points from nine matches.


The Sacking Season

Two games, two draws, two goals scored, two goals conceded ain't what the doctor, or indeed the management ordered at PSIS and coach Edi Paryono has paid with his job.

Also following him out the door is Uruguayan striker Alex Daniel.


Indonesia v New Zealand 2-1

From the chilly antipodean winter New Zealand's young Olympic squad find themselves taking on a near full strength Indonesia is sweltering conditions at an empty Bung Karno Stadium.

A 3.30 kick off may give the Indonesians an advantage on the pitch as their players are used to the heat but it deters fans from going to the game. I mean, FA, some of us have day jobs you know?

Indonesia took the lead on 12 minutes when a free kick driven in from the right was drilled home by midfield dynamo Firman Utina.

Elie Aiboy looked threatening down the right in flashes but his end product was often poor while on the left Budi Sudarsono drove forward with relish.

It was his run that beat the offside that set up Indonesia's second goal just on the half hour. Budi got to the half way line and pulled the ball back leaving Bambang Pamungkas to smash the ball high into the net.

It was that rarities in Indonesian football, a goal from open play but Bambang's finishing emphasised there ain't a lot wrong up top. It's just the service that is lacking at times.

Come the tackles and come the stretchers as the Indonesians delighted in being carried off for slight knocks. Really, this is pathetic but as one commentator told me they do the same in Italy and other Latin countries. Maybe, but is that an excuse?

Right at the death Brockie caught Markus Horison in the Indonesian goal, and the camera crew, off guard and got a goal back and seconds later he again threatened but this time Markus pushed the ball over the bar.

Half time Indonesia v New Zealand 2-1

Much of the second half drifted along but in the last 10 minutes the game opened up as New Zealand pushed for an equaliser. Horison saving spectularly from close range, and Indonesia, spearheaded by Widowo, probed the gaps.

With the last action of the game Budi Sudarsono went on another surging run only for his shot to pass harmlessly across the goal.


More Money Woes

Along with Perak in Malaysia and Persitara here in Indonesia it has now been revealed double winners Sriwijaya are feeling the pinch and not paid their players for two months.

Having an Indonesian Super League is all very commendable but professionalism isn't just an empty phrase. It needs to encompass club management and it needs professionals to run the game.

Not a bunch of Communicator carrying, status seeking nobodys.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Malaysia Draw With India

Feeling mischevious?

Go to KL next week when Malaysia play Chelsea and ask all the fans you see what the score was when their country played India!



The Laughs Keep Coming

1 - A source told me the salary being offered to the next Under 16 coach!
2 - The Indonesian FA have a marketing department!
3 - The Jakarta Post will be doing a story about New Zealand after they sent someone to try the free food at the High Commissioner's house last night!
4 - Among the might of the New Zealand squad, a TV station and a popular weekly tabloid the only person who knew the Kiwis' agenda was some fat geezer with a lap top and a penchant for free beer!


The Kiwis are Coming

Tomorrow sees Indonesia host the New Zealand Olympic side as they prepare for their bid for gold in Beijing.

Tickets go on sale on the day of the match from 9 am and are available in four categories:

VIP West - 100,000 rupiah
VIP East - 75,000
Category 1 - 50,000
Category 2 - 25,000

Last night I went to a reception hosted by the New Zealand ambassador at his place and managed to meet the squad and coaches. I'm hoping to have an exclusive story come out of this...keep it here lah!

Coach Stuart Jacobs told me that though the pitch in their first friendly against Persikota was bad he wasn't using that as an excuse for their 2-0 defeat. Rather, it was the lads first real try out and coming so soon after landing and so early in their schedule there was some tiredness. He was however impressed by some thing he saw and hopes that by the time they land in China they will be approaching peak fitness and form.

Their assistant coach is a chap named Jonathon Gould who used to play for Celtic. His old man is Bobby, formerly of Arsenal among others.

Among those others is Coventry City where he was manager for a while. During his spell their one of his goal keepers was Raddy Avramovic, now Singapore coach, who Jonathon remembers well.

Those boody Kiwis! By the time I got round to the food the buggers had eaten all the lamb and I was left with a plate of rabbit food!!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Brazil Tickets

Next Monday, 28 July, sees a Singapore Select take on Brazil Olympic at the Kalang Stadium in Singapore.

Grandstand - S$120
Gallery - S$ 60
Gallery - Student - S$15 (2000 gallery tickets available for students under the age of 16 years old.While stocks last!)

I won't be going. Not with Persija playing Persita.

Serious question. Which game will have the largest attendance?


Former Perseman Striker Finds New Home

New signings to make a difference at Sengkang
Syahrom Sulaiman
All season long, Sengkang Punggol’s well-documented problems up front became a major talking point in the S.League. Currently occupying the last spot, the Dolphins’ inability to convert the chances in front of goal is putting them in danger of finishing the season on a new low.
Therefore, it was no surprise that the Hougang-based outfit decided to bring in a pair of forwards during the mid-season transfer window to boost their attacking options in search of more goals. Brazilian Reginaldo Estevao and Japanese Toshiaki Kato were registered on the 16th of July in the hopes that the pair can bang in the goals to ensure that the Dolphins can climb higher in the league table.
Head coach Saswadimata Dasuki gave the pair a chance on Sunday to show what they can do against the Super Reds. The expression “baptism of fire” could not have been more apt in describing how the two forwards tried to perform against a well-drilled Super Reds’ team. Nevertheless, Saswadimata was rather pleased with their efforts, even though they did not produce the goods in the end.
He said, “Reginaldo is the type of player that we’ve been searching for since the start of the season. He is strong, quick and he has the ability to hold onto the ball.
“This is his first game in Singapore and his first game is against a very strong team (Super Reds) that is capable of challenging for the title. But even so, you can see that he has shown the qualities that we desperately need up front,” Saswadimata commented.
The 31-year old Brazilian’s previous stint was at Indonesian club Perseman Manokwari. He played for one season before deciding to strike it out at Singapore and as fate would have it, it was Fandi Ahmad who recommended Reginaldo to the Dolphins.
20-year old Toshiaki Kato, on the other hand, does not have a lot of professional soccer experience under his belt. He came for trials at the club before impressing enough people to get into the club’s books.
In contrast to Reginaldo’s tireless performance, the Japanese youngster was subdued in the first half and he was subsequently substituted by Haris Sumri in the second. Coach Saswadimata explained, “I put (Toshiaki) Kato in the first half so that he can contain the Super Reds from the front.
“He is quick and he has pace, so at least he can match up to the Koreans in terms of fitness. However, it’s his first game and you can see that he needs time to adapt. “That is why Haris (Sumri) was brought into the game in the second half so that we can utilize his experience,” the Dolphins coach added.
Saswadimata believes that the future looks bright for his team, despite the many struggles and obstacles that they have had to face this season.
He commented, “We believed that the move to swap Ivan Asenjo with Reginaldo is a good one. Ivan Asenjo is a gifted midfielder but he is not a forward. “We have many talented midfielders so Ivan (Asenjo) definitely had to make way. It is a good step forward and I believe that Reginaldo and (Toshiaki) Kato will play a big role towards the end of the season,” Saswadimata confidently added.
The Dolphins do not have anything to lose but everything to gain purely by looking at league position. Their next test, however, is not going to be a simple one. Home United will be visiting the Hougang Stadium and fans will have another closer look at the new strike partnership. With games coming thick and fast towards the business end of the season, Reginaldo and Toshiaki Kato will have to gel fast with their new team mates if the Dolphins want to climb higher up the league table soon.


A Family Affair

Last night I watched the PSMS v Persipura game at Bung Karno with a few people and was introduced to the President of Persija Bambang Suciptio (spelling?), a former player with the Kemayoran Tigers.

He had been in Bandung the previous night watching the game but he had divided loyalties. His son formerly played for Deltras and Persija were interested in signing him during the close season.

Worried about accusations of nepotism he rejected a move to his old man's club and signed for ... Persib!

Hence Papa in the main stand at Siliwangi Stadium delighted his team beat their fiercest rivals but also feeling a bit for his boy. And fearing the drive home at a time when disgruntled Bobotoh were smashing cars with Jakarta registration plates. He finally got home at 3 am having left Bandung three hours after the game had finished.

The Persija players had arranged to stay the night after the game in their Bandung but quick consultations with the police decided they'd better get out of dodge.

Despite the animosity between both sets of supporters on the pitch the players get on well with many having played for both sides.

Winger Atep made the journey south recently and the cameras were keen to focus on his discussions with his former team mate Herman Abanda. It made for great TV because Atep is about 3 foot 6 tall while Abanda is a giant of a man.


Hey MB, Spare Me a Sen

Taken from The Star

Monday July 21, 2008
Perak in dire straits
GEORGE TOWN: Perak are in deep financial crisis and they may not be able to fulfil their commitment to play against Lebanon's SAFA FC in the away match of the AFC Cup quarter-final tie in September.
Perak, whose players have gone without salaries for nearly four months now, have made appeals for funds to the state and the FA of Malaysia (FAM) but they have not received replies.
Coach Steve Darby yesterday said that withdrawing from the competition would earn the wrath of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in a fine and suspension.
“It would cost us about US$26,000 to bring 18 players and six officials to Lebanon. We have sliced the budget by about US$6,000 by trimming the squad to a minimum of 15 players and four officials. But there is still no way out,” said the Englishman.
“We do not have funds to purchase air tickets. We wrote to our Mentri Besar and the FAM on July 2, highlighting our predicaments but there has been no reply from them.
“There are very serious repercussions if we fail to keep the date. We will not only be suspended and fined but Malaysian teams also face expulsion from the AFC Cup competition next year.”
Darby added that the AFC had meted out such punishments on teams from Bahrain and Yemen for not being able to fulfil their obligations.
Kedah and Negri Sembilan have secured places in the continental club competition next year as the Super League champions and runners-up respectively.
The Englishman added that quarter-finalists get a US$20,000 grant from the AFC to help them cover the flight costs for the away match and also to take care of the accommodations of visiting teams but the money will only be handed out after the round.
“I have been told by our president (Datuk Mahiyuddin Arshad) that the Perak FA are trying to sell a piece of land to help overcome the financial crisis,” said Darby.
“But with such a sale take time to conduct. We now need a soft loan to help us see through our commitments in the AFC Cup and also to pay the players their salaries. Some of the players have taken loans from relatives and sold their cars just to make ends meet.”
Kedah are the other Malaysian team in the AFC Cup quarter-finals and they will be up against Bahrain’s Muharah FC.
In the Malaysia Cup competition, Perak are through to the quarter-finals. For away matches, Darby said that the team travelled by road and returned to Ipoh after the match.


Persitara. Again

I had been determined not to team this team again as they slide from disaster to disaster in the nascent season but this one is too good to miss.

Club officials were told by the ISL governing body going into the weekend's fixture with Persela that they had two choices.

Play the game without police permission and risk going to jail. Or don't play the game and face relegation!

They played the game!

Yesterday's media showed sheepish club officials in the presence of interested police officers!

The chances are they won't go to jail but the Persitara saga has got a long way to go.


PSMS V Persipura 0-1

In a sparsely populated Bung Karno Stadium last night these two sides from the opposite ends of Indonesia did their best to produce a game of football.

Persipura dominated the first half but a barrage of free kicks failed to break the deadlock and it was painfully clear they missed their strike force of Jeremiah and Goncalves, both suspended for acting like idiots in their last game against Sriwijaya.

Boaz Solassa did start and impressed with his pace but the Black Pearls needed inspiration with veteran captain Eduard Ivakdalam looking off the pace.

Second half was more even and it was no surprise that when the Papuan side did score it was from a free kick, Ortizan Solossa doing the business.

For PSMS Andika impressed second half while they must be looking forward to having Elie Aiboy on the pitch when his transfer from Selangor is confirmed.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Indonesian Super League Weekend Round Up

Persita v Persik 0-2 (Gonzalez, Mahyadi) 500
Sriwijaya v Persiwa 3-1 (Kayamba, Obiora, Fingkeouw; Benoit) 15,000
Pelita Jaya v PKT Bontang 1-0 (Lopez) 4,705
PSM v Deltras 3-0 (Julio Lopez 2, Baretto) 20,000
Persijap v Arema 1-2 (Siregar;Zulfikly, Traore) 15,000
Persitara v Persela 1-1 (Suparno; Mulyadi)
PSIS v Persiba 1-1 (Saloman; Musafry) 4,000
Persib v Persija 2-3 (Zaenal Arief, Bastos; Abanda, Robertinho, Bambang) 25,000
PSMS v Persipura play tonight

Please note the attendances are flights of fancy. One source can unashamedly give two different numbers within two pages. Pelita Jaya's seems nice and concise but another source gives a more familiar 1,000. Meanwhile Persitara, yep them again, have an average crowd of zero having played before an empty stadium for the second consecutive game. They are now in trouble with the police for going ahead without permission!

Top Scorers

2 goals - Mbamba (Arema), Moriera (Persib), Marcio Souza (Persela), Obiora (Sriwijaya), Musafri (Persiba), Lopez (Pelita Jaya), Saloman (PSIS), Abanda (Persija)

As best I can make out only Musafri is Indonesian!


Persikota Beat New Zealand!

Taken from NZ Soccer website. It's worth pointing out last season Persikota scoring a goal was an excuse for a party, it happened so rarely!

Tired Oly-Whites downed in Indonesia
July 20, 2008
AUCKLAND – A travel-weary Thai Airways Oly-Whites side will look to restore energy levels after losing 0-2 to Indonesian club side Persikota Tangerang in Jakarta on Sunday night.
Persikota – a late change from the PSMS Medan opposition New Zealand were scheduled to play – scored in the 29th and 74th minutes to beat an Oly-Whites side still on a high from strong showings in their last four outings, including wins over Chile and the Central Coast Mariners.
“It’s a bit of a reality check,” New Zealand coach Stu Jacobs said.
“We didn’t play as well as we could have and we looked a wee bit ragged to be honest.”
“We were just too loose on the park. We had opportunities and probably had more possession than them but just didn’t use it well enough.
“We’re not accepting losing fixtures because we want to win every time we play but we realise we went into the game with players carrying niggles and had some fatigued bodies out there.
“The key now is to get people injury free and ready for Indonesia on Thursday.”
Midfielder Sam Jenkins left the field with left the field after just 20 minutes with a tight hamstring – which will be assessed overnight to gauge the extent of the injury – while striker Daniel Ellensohn also picked up a knock to an ankle and was substituted midway through the second half as a precaution.
Over-age player Simon Elliott – who joined the squad from London on Friday – did not take the field, with Jacobs preferring to give the 54 cap All White his first run against Indonesia.
“We just wanted to give him a bit more time really. He’s just got off a long flight and there wasn’t a great deal of value risking him in this game on what was a pretty average pitch.”
The Oly-Whites now face the Indonesian national team on Thursday before completing their build-up against club side Persija on Saturday. Celtic striker Chris Killen joins the team in camp on Wednesday and will be available for both clashes.
At the Olympics, New Zealand play hosts China and gold medal contenders Brazil in Shenyang on August 7 and 10 respectively before completing pool play against European dark horses Belgium in Shanghai on August 13.
In Jakarta: Thai Airways Oly-Whites 0 Persikota Tangerang 2
Thai Airways Oly-Whites: Liam Little (GK), Aaron Scott (captain), Michael Boxall, Steven Old, Ian Hogg, Sam Jenkins (Sam Messam 20), Shaun van Rooyen, Cole Peverley, Craig Henderson, Jeremy Brockie, Daniel Ellensohn (Cole Tinkler 66).Substitutes not used: Jacob Spoonley (RGK), Jack Pelter, Simon Elliott. Head Coach: Stu Jacobs

As I said before, I'm not convinced they will be playing Persija who have an ISL game scheduled against Persita for next Monday. I understand Persikabo provide the opposition this Saturday.


Sunday, July 20, 2008


Feedback From Persib v Persija

Or comments you won't be reading elsewhere.

HAHAHA...AWESOME! - Danang Ismartani, leader of Persija Supporters' Club

Fucking mayhem - One of the TV commentators in a private sms, not on air!

This is a good day to win! - Yusuf Andibachtiar, movie maker

I find out something when watching the game. 15 reasons why beer is better than women - Former Persitara coach Richard Azreg

Persib Supporters Club leader Heru Joko hasn't replied yet while within the Persija camp they are waiting for safe transport away from the stadium!


More Woe for Perak


KUALA LUMPUR (19 July 2008) – Perak head coach Steve Darby said that Perak's financial woes could see the Malaysian side withdraw from September's AFC Cup quarter-finals.Perak qualified for this season's tournament by finishing second to Kedah in both the Malaysian Super Cup and Malaysia Cup last year.

They set up a last-eight meeting with Lebanese side Safa after finishing second in their AFC Cup group behind Singapore Armed Forces with a record of four wins, one draw and one loss.But their on-field success has been undermined by the drying up of funds since a change of state government in March - with players and staff not having been paid in full for four months.“
The budget for the present season was drawn up with income based on a Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) grant, gate receipts and funding from the Perak state government,” Darby explained.
“We kept to the budget, which was in fact reduced from previous years by over one million ringgit (approx. USD 310,000) through cuts in salary and travel costs.
“The Perak FA were operating on one of the smallest budgets in the Super League, 50% smaller than some of then and smaller than at least four teams in the Premier League, but Perak still qualified for the AFC Cup quarter-finals and were continuously in the top few places in the league.
“But the general election occurred and after this the funding from the state government ceased. “Our reserves from gate receipts were drained and at the same time huge bills from as far back as 1998 emerged which nobody in the current administration knew about.
“These were for things like taxes, EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) contributions and stadium rent which amounted to over two million ringgit (USD 616,000).
“So the successful attempt at running the team as a business failed due to the unexpected cessation of the largest revenue stream and the sudden emergence of unknown bills.”
According to Darby, players and staff have not received their full salaries since March 30 and the Perak FA have written formally to the state government and FAM for assistance as well as actively seeking sponsorship for the team.
“An FAM official said it's a Perak FA problem, not theirs, but I strongly disagree as we are representing Malaysia in the AFC Cup and if we cannot compete in the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup, it brings shame to the whole country,” said the Englishman.
“I have estimated the trip to Lebanon and it will cost us over USD20,000 but we do not have that money.“
The AFC subsidy is excellent and adequate but that only comes after the games. We do not have the funds up front.”Even now we are travelling to away games in Malaysia overnight and are not staying in hotels at all.”

So the club was being run as a successful business but there were loads of bills no one knew about and most of the money came from tax payer largesse anyway?

For so long Malaysia has been living a dream under UMNO and soon it will all go horribly wrong but it's a shame that football has to suffer. Perak have done splendidly this season and have done the country proud on an international level.

As ever though, when politics gets involved with sport, it is the vote seekers and short sighted power crazed few who do the most damage.

Original article from



Persib v Persija 2-3

For the second consecutive game Persib flew out the blocks and were a goal up within 60 seconds. Good work by Eka Ramdhani down the inside left found international striker Zaenal Arief in so much space he had enough time to complete the cryptic Times crossword, a poor first touch and putting the ball past Hendro Kartiko.

10 minutes later and Abanda Herman, also taking advantage of acres of space, powered home a header.

God, I'm begining to sound like a talking head on TV, blaming everything on poor marking. That's what comes from spending too much time with coaches recently.

Ramdhani has been at the heart of all that has been good from Persib and could be the match winner as he revels in his role just behind Zaenal.

Half time 1-1

Robertinho on 62' and Bambang on 75' make it 3-1 for Persija with about 12' minutes left.

On 84' Hilton Moriera fell outside the penalty area but the ref pointed to the spot. Hilton put the kick wide and all hell broke loose with play held up for several minutes amid smoke bombs and a rain of plastic bottles as home fans went on one.

TV coverage has ended and Indonesia settles down to watch Pet Semetary 2.

UPDATE - Once the stadium had been emptied, and the riot taken outside, the last five minutes were played out and Persib scored a penalty.

Considering the history of this game why isn't it played a) somewhere neutral or b) behind closed doors?

Still, given the fact that an away win is this fixture has always looked unlikely this is perhaps a step forward for the game? Till now the worry has been if either Persija or Persib won this game away from home it would go off and perhaps this has led to a series of home wins or draws.

But the message coming out of this is clear. The game will not be hijacked by the actions of sore losers and teams will now win, draw or lose on merit.

Or maybe I'm just a dreamer!

Recent record between the two sides

May 22, 2005 : Persib Bandung - Persija Jakarta 1 - 1 Boy Jati Asmara ‘30, Ismed Sofyan ‘72
Sep 4, 2005 : Persija Jakarta - Persib Bandung WO
Feb 26, 2006 : Persija Jakarta - Persib Bandung 0 - 0
May 20, 2006 : Persib Bandung - Persija Jakarta 1 - 1 Hamka Hamzah ‘14 Zainal Arif ‘85
Apr 24th, 2007 : Persib Bandung - Persija Jakarta 3 - 0 Eka Ramdani ‘14, Bekamenga ‘16, ‘40
Aug 16th, 2007 : Persija Jakarta - Persib Bandung 1 - 0 Agus Indra ‘16

Thanks to for this



Peter Reid & Thailand

The Thais seem happy to have recruited former England international Peter Reid and no doubt the scouser is looking forward to plenty of beach time but...

...the Thais have been living in the past for too long and it doesn't matter if it's Peter Reid or Jose Mourinho if the talent pool is limited then success will remain a dream.

The days of the Dream Team from the mid 90's when Tawan, Kiatisuk & co strode across the Asian tableau are but a memory and this current generation have yet to prove they are the equal of, let alone, superior to, those legends.

With the domestic game a mess, they recently had two leagues running(!) simultaneously, and results poor on the international stage Peter Reid has his work cut out trying to realise Thai dreams with what's available to him.

Since those heady days the Thais have been overhauled in ASEAN by Singapore who are on course for a third straight AFF Championship this December while Indonesia are champing at the bit as well.

In the greater Asia region Australia have arrived on the scene while matching the likes of Japan and South Korea is nowt but a dream. And as for the countries of the gulf and even Uzbekistan?

Living and working in Thailand maybe a dream, and I did it for the best part of a decade, but unrealistic ambitions may make the hot seat hotter than a hot dish of Gaeng Khio Wan Gai!



Some Results Across the Region

Indonesian Super League

19/07 PSM v Deltras 3-0
19/07 Persijap v Arema 1-2
20/07 Persitara v Persela 1-1
20/07 PSIS v Persiba 1-1

20/07 Persib v Persija 2-3 (Zaenal Arief 10'; Abanda 10', Roberinho 62', Bambang Pamungkas 74')

ISL Standings

1. Persija 2 2 0 0 6-3 9


18/07 Geylang United v Gombak United 3-1 (Aide Iskandar 19', Rivaldo Costa 23', Fazrul Nawaz 82'; Ojimi Gabriel Obatola 34')
19/07 Home United v Young Lions 1-0 (Shi Jiayi 56')
20/07 Super Reds v Sengkang Punggol 4-0 (Choi Dong Soo 14', Park Kang Jin 39',Oh Ddog Yi 80 (p)Moon Soon Ho 81')

SLeague Standings (not including Super Reds score)

1. SAFFC 18 15 2 1 54-17 47
2. Home 18 13 2 3 46-19 41
3. Super Reds 18 13 2 3 34-18 41
4. Tampines 18 11 2 5 36-20 35

Malaysia Cup

15/07 Kedah v Sabah 5-1 (Marlon James 7', 34', Huggins 10', Fadly 43', 45'; Njoku 26')
15/07 PDRM v KL 0-0
18/07 Selangor v Terengganu 2-0 (Seator 38', Akmar Rizal 70')
18/07 Perak v MyTeam 3-1 (Ahmad Fakri Sharaani 47', 74', Caceres 66'; Branezac 13')
18/07 Perlis v Johor PBT 3-0 (Farderin Khadir 6', 75', 86')

Thailand Premier League

19/07 PEA v Osotspa 0-0
19/07 Tobacco Monopoly v Bang Phra 0-0
19/07 KTB v Nakron Pathom 2-0
19/07 Army v BEC Tero 2-3
19/07 Port v Chula Sinthana 2-2
19/07 Chonburi v TOT 2-2
19/07 Bangkok Bank v Samut Songkram 0-1

TPL Standings

1. Chonburi 16 8 7 1 20-9 31
2. BEC Tero 16 9 3 4 28-16 30
3. PEA 16 9 3 4 16-10 30
4. KTB 16 8 5 3 23-14 29
5. TOT 16 8 5 3 20-12 29


How Important is Diet in Developing Young Players?

As I was watching the AFF Under 16s recently in Jakarta I was struck by the sheer size of the Indonesian players when they lined up against their opponents. Even the Singapore and Malaysian players towered above, and outwards, the locals.

What about diet? I may live here but Indonesian food is in the main awful. Endless Bakso and Indo Mie washed down with lashings of Teh Botol isn't going to develop young bodies.

These kids come from the villages of Indonesia where food and hygiene is basic to say the least and doesn't come close to what the lads in Malaysia can eat and drink.

No one here drinks milk! and in the villages it's only available in the long life format, not as something fresh you neck with pleasure.

The BBC recently touched on the issue of malnourishment here and while I'm not suggesting the young players are starving perhaps they are eating the wrong stuff?


The Persitara Soap Opera

Last week the team from the north of the capital lost 3-1 at home to Persija in front of an empty stadium after they failed to organise security and struggled to pay for the flood lights. Today the play Persela again without police permission forthcoming.

They continue to live in the hope that funding from the local government will be forthcoming but I understand that is unlikely.

You know the best part?

Friday August 1st they are due to travel to Papua, a seven hour flight, to play Persipura.

If they can't afford to pay for the lights at Soreang will they even get to Jayapura?


Australia v Bahrain 6-5 (on penalties)

A late equaliser in normal time by substitute Marc Warren saved the Australians against a well drilled Bahrain side in the final of the AFF Under 16s.

Warren's arrival during the second half turned the game that appeared to be drifting from the Aussies after the side from the gulf had taken a lead and looked to be on course for the trophy.

His crossing ability put pressure on the Bahrain defence but ironically it was his header from a corner that saved the Joey's blushes.

Penalties followed after a goalless extra time and as we nervously wondered how many beers would be left at the wedding we were due at Australia triumphed under a full Jakarta moon.

Losing by penalties is a cruel way to lose and I had hoped to take some snaps of the Bahrain players n the dressing room after but they were, to a man, in tears while in the dressing room next door the joy was unbounded.

The look on the Australians' faces as they received the trophy was one to behold and the night belonged to them. No one remembers the losers but for me I have been impressed by Bahrain and wish them luck in the future.

Images here.


Malaysia v Singapore 3-0

With both teams fielding weakened line ups after a gruelling four games in nine days, Malaysia comfortably brushed aside a Singapore side to get a deserved a third placed spot in the Under 16s here in Jakarta.

Jakarta Casual's official Player of the Tournament, Saaryindran Devandran set the Malaysians on the way with a smartly taken first goal before two more goals were scored by other players in the yellow and black.

Images here

Saturday, July 19, 2008


You're a Bar Stud, Referee

The ASEAN Football Federation, organisers of the Under 16s and from here on in to be abbreviated to AFF, are running a referees assessors course at the moment here in Jakarta.

I wonder what the gathered attendees made of the incident on Thursday at Lebak Bulus during the game between Malaysia and Bahrain.

The 10 man, or boy, Bahrainis had a penalty and the Malaysian keeper, Zulfadhli, did well to parry. His defence weren't so responsive and a Bahrani following up netted the rebound and Bahrain celebtrated believing at 1-1 they were back in the game.

Inexplicably the Singaporean ref disallowed the goal. I heard third hand for offside. Umm, the ball came off the keeper so there can be no offside.

Assessors. Please discuss.


ASEAN Under 16 Final

Today sees the final day of the ASEAN Under 16s that have been held in Jakarta over the last week or so. They have been a lot of fun with some quality football produced by the kids.

No surprise really that the final features Australia and Bahrain but only seconds came between Malaysia and the Aussies.

The focus of this site is obviously the fortunes of the South East Asian nations and while I will be watching the final I will be watching the 3/4th Place Play Off between Malaysia and Singapore especially keenly.

Malaysia have impressed everyone I think with their performances while Singapore turned in a wonderful performance against Australia yet strangey went missing against hosts Indonesia.

It promises to be another great day of football and as ever I will be covering the action after it happens with exclusive articles and images.

So exciting has this tournament been it has, for me at least, relegated ISL action from the headlines.



Indonesian Squad v New Zealand

Next Thursday, 24 July, sees Indonesia host the New Zealand Olympic team at Bung Karno. Did you know the last time I saw the Kiwis was in an olympic qualifying game against Chinese Taipei (or was it Israel?) at Sydney Football Stadium. The same tournament had the Taiwan side beat Western Samoa 5-0!

Interesting huh?

Keeper : Markus Harison, Fery Rotinsulu
Defender : Ricardo Salampessy, Fandy Mochtar, Nova Arianto, Christian Worabay, Charis Yulianto, Muhammad Roby, Isnan Ali
Midfield : Syamsul Bachri Chaerudin, Hariono, Ponaryo Astaman, Benben Berlian, Firman Utina, Eka Ramdani, Erol Iba, M Ilham, Ellie Aiboy
Forwards : Bambang Pamungkas, Rudi Widodo, Budi Sudarsono


First Win for Persik

Persita v Persik 0-2 (Gonzalez, Mahyadi)
Pelita Jaya v PKT Bontang 1-0
Sriwijaya v Persiwa 3-1

Sorry. No more information than that.

Friday, July 18, 2008


SAFFC Six Clear

SAF came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Balestier Khalsa to go six points clear at the top of the SLeague ahead of Super Reds.

Tampines also beat Woodlands last night 3-1.

1. SAF 18 15 2 1 54-17 47
2. Super Reds 18 13 2 3 34-18 41
3. Home 17 12 2 3 45-19 38
4. Tampines 18 11 2 5 36-20 35


Malaysia Squad v India & Chelsea

Goalkeepers: Helmi Eliza Elias, Badrulzaman Abdul Halim;
Defenders: S. Subramaniam, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, Fauzie Nan, Daudsu Jamaluddin, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, Irwan Fadzli Idrus, Asraruddin Putra Omar, Shafizan Hashim; Midfielders: Shukor Adan, Hardi Jaafar, Amirulhadi Zainal, Azi Shahril Azmi, Zairo Anuar Zalani;
Forwards: Hairuddin Omar, Safee Sali, Nizaruddin Yusof, Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Ashari Shamsuddin, Khyril Muhymeen Zambri, Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak, Titus James.

They play a friendly in India on 22 July before hosting the Chelsea circus on 29 July in KL.

Titus James is currently trialling in France.



Finding Information about the ISL

So you're in Indonesia and fancy taking in a game. How do you go about finding out where they're being played and when?

Tough question.

The inaccurate and incomplete BLI website has, today, added some fixtures. It has Sriwijaya playing in Bandung, Persita playing in Palembang! No kick off time given.

The Indonesian FA website has two games in Bandung tonight, half right, but no stadium name and no kick off.

And the TV station covering the games live has no fixture schedule period.

In this bright new era of football here nothing has changed. Information technology passes the football bodies by Nobody gives a shit.

I've been trying to get an interview with national team coach Benny Dollo and have been promised one since way back. However, when I try to secure a time and date I get no answer. From the media liason person!!!

So if you do fancy seeing a game.

Good luck!



New Zealand Think They're Playing PSMS

This comes from the New Zealand FA website. PSMS are scheduled to play Persipura on Monday at Bung Karno. That is not to suggest they won't be playing New Zealand on the Sunday but it's unlikely they will play twice in 24 hours.

The other issue is venue. Bung Karno has been booked already for Sunday hence the PSMS game, originally scheduled for then, being jigged.

The Indonesian FA website has the Kiwis playing First Division side Persikota at Benteng Stadium on Sunday and Persikabo, another First division side, next Saturday.

So if the Kiwis are looking forward to top tier action they could well be disappointed!

The game against the Indonesian national team takes place at Bung Karno next Thursday, 24 July, kick off 3.30.



Brazil to Singapore?

The Brazilian FA website is announcing their Olympic side will play a friendly in Singapore on their way to China next week.

The game, against a Singapore Select, will be on 28 July.

Please note my Portuguese is rusty. About as fluent as my Inuit which is hardly up to scratch. Check their site here...


Thursday, July 17, 2008


Persib v Persija

Sunday sees the next staging of the biggest hatred in Indonesian football as Persib Bandung host Persija Jakarta in Bandung.

As usual no away fans will travel. Their safety cannot be guaranteed. Indeed even having a Jakarta number plate on your car near the stadium on match day is inviting trouble.

The normal scenario at these games is for the visiting team coach to be attacked by rocks and players depart the stadium after the game in an armoured personal carrier. And no, I'm not joking.

This weekend, to try and ensure a smooth passage into and out of the stadium for the Persija players, representatives from both clubs supporters' clubs will meet with Bandung police.

It's worth pointing out the Persija fans will be safely tucked up back in Jakarta long before match day!



Malaysia v Bahrain 1-1

Where to begin?

I never thought I would ever hear myself saying I was looking forward to seeing Malaysia play Bahrain in an Under 16. But said it I did and I was not disappointed. The respective coaches may be, the referee may be and AFF maybe but I wasn't. I may never watch another Manchester United v Liverpool game as long as I live but this was a good old fashioned classic that knocks spots off any East Lancs clash I've seen.

I didn't need to talk to Steve Darby on the phone during the week to know that Malaysia have been the surprise package of this tournament and tonight they came within 60 seconds of reaching the final and playing Australia.

They were excellent. From the talkative goalkeeper Zulfadhli to the captain Saiful Ridzuwan via the bundle of energy in the number six shirt Saaryindran Devandran (my player of the tournament as if anyone cares what I think) they have been heroes and have impressed most neutrals who have bothered to come along.

They took the lead early doors and really dominated a Bahraini side that are no pushovers. Down to 10 men after a sending off on 23 minutes it looked like the side from the Gulf were there for the taking.

It was not to be. But before the amazing twist in this match right at the death there was a fight!

Bahrain were awarded a penalty which Zulfadhli did really well to parry away. A Bahraini netted the rebound but, for some reason best known to tooth fairys and hobglobins, the ref disallowed it.

All hell broke loose and the Bahrani coaching staff streamed on to the pitch. Plenty of pushing and shoving ensured between players and officials before the crowd started getting agitated and started their own.

Here, in Jakarta, at an Under 16 game between Malaysia and Bahrain there was crowd trouble!

Sitting in front of me in the media section were four Bahrani players, one of whom had been the lad red carded first half.

Most of the game they had been glancing nervously at a couple of locals who were yelling whatever they were yelling in Arabic.

When the fun started on the pitch some gobby locals joined in in the stand and the young players reacted. Bad move.

Watching a fight close up is quite funny 'cos very few people are actually interested in having a row. Most just want to tell their mates they were there. These are the windmills who charge in with their arms flailing, rarely connecting.

Another type of person attracted to these things is the peacemaker who may or may not be blesses. His arms are outstretched, making soothing noises. Mother Theresa with bollocks!

Then there are those who just make lots of noise and are too tired to punch anyone. Yelling does that to you I guess.

People scrambled over the seats, past the security guards who should have been there, and did their bit while on the pitch the players and officials turned to watch the matinee. A few coppers ambled over to have a nosey as players kept jumping out of the VVIP section to support their team mates who were visibly outnumbered and coming off a second best, one guy face down kissing the concrete while people jumped around saying 'hold me back.'

Disgusting scenes, Andy, we don't want to see this at our football stadiums. You can imagine the TV commentators but I'm not so sure. Just like ice hockey and Australian rules, people like to see a bit of pushing and shoving and you can imagine the coaches would be quietly satisfied at the team spirit their players showed.

And it worked. Right at the death a classic free kick was headed home and Bahrain had done enough to reach the final. The players sank to the ground, they punched the air (again), with joy while the Malaysians?

They had contributed to a wonderful game of football. It doesn't ease the pain but perhaps one or two will make the grade and look back on this game fondly.

'Cos it was brilliant.


Indonesia v Singapore 1-1

At last! Indonesia finally played some football for the first time in this tournament but it was too little, too late.

Coming from a goal down after some woeful defending, second half they tore into Singapore, finally using the flanks to great effect.

Fahreza Agamal, possibly Indonesia's sole shining star in the Under 16's, will never net an easier goal if he plays to be 67 and it signalled a spell of sustained pressure from the home side culminating in a mazy dribble by captain Rudi Setiawan that left the Singapore defence in his wake but he couldn't quite finish his work.

I promise you if it had been George Best or Cristiano Ronaldo it would be up on You Tube already and would be seen around the world.

Striker Tommy Veriyanto showed glimpses of ability as did Delton.

But it was all too late. They had been hiding in their first three games, never shown up.

But finally the local fans had a performance to cheer.

For Singapore a more in depth analysis will be posted on their own web site soon. They received a third red card in four games but they're not a dirty team. Ironically the one time they were invited to mix it, and they did, was the one game they didn't get a red!


Selangor Progress in Malaysia Cup

Taken from the Star

Wednesday July 16, 2008
Football: Red Giants the first team to enter quarter-finals
PETALING JAYA: Selangor exacted revenge over Kelantan at the Shah Alam Stadium last night to become the first team to reach the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals.
They won the Group A match 4-1 with national player Indra Putra Mahayuddin scoring a brace in the 16th and 20th minutes and skipper Mohd Shukor Adan and Elie Aiboy going on target in the 40th and 72nd minutes. Kelantan scored their solitary goal through Mohd Badri Radzi in the 90th minute.
Kelantan's early fire fizzled out and they were blunt in attack after having parted ways with their prolific goal-getter, Senegalese Mouhamadou Moustapha, who had scored 32 goals in the 33 matches for them this season.
To the fore: Selangor’s Elie Aiboy scored the last goal in Selangor’s 4-1 win over Kelantan at the Shah Alam Stadium Tuesday night.
The win for the Red Giants, who were beaten 2-5 by Kelantan in the first round, put them in an unassailable position for a top two finish in the group.
They are on 19 points with two matches remaining against Terengganu at home on Friday and against Malacca away on Aug 2.
In Paroi, Negri Sembilan beat Sarawak 3-0 with three late goals by S. Kunalan (81st), Udo Fortune (82nd) and K. Ravindran (90th) to keep their slim quarter-final hopes alive. The Deer, who have one match to play against Kelantan at home on Aug 2, are in fourth spot on 13 points.
Kelantan dropped to third spot on 14 points while Terengganu, playing for the first time at the new Sultan Mizan Stadium in Gong Badak, scored a 4-0 win over lowly Malacca to move up to second place on 16 points.
In Group B, Kedah thrashed Sabah 5-1 at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Star to move to second spot on 15 points and they trail Police, who drew 0-0 with Kuala Lumpur at the Selayang MC Stadium, on an inferior goal difference.
The battle in Group C has turned into a three-horse race with UPB-MyTeam still leading the pack on 18 points.
The club side were not in action last night and Perlis and Perak closed in on them with 16 and 15 points respectively.
The Northern Lions thrashed Armed Forces 4-0 while Perak edged Johor Pasir Gudang 1-0.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?