Monday, February 28, 2011


Medan Chiefs In Singapore Media

MEDAN - With umbrellas, hankerchiefs, motorcycle helmets, even picnic mats over their heads, about 3,000 Medan Chiefs faithful came out to back their team in the sweltering heat at the Baharoeddin Siregar Stadium yesterday.

Exposed to the elements, they soon turned a gigantic flag in the red-and-black of the Chiefs into a makeshift shelter, as Jorg Steinebrunner's players danced a slick tango on the lush turf en route to a 3-0 win over a Real Mataram side led by ex-Argentina international Jose Basualdo.

The win puts them sixth in the 19-team breakaway Indonesian Premier League with 11 points, and a game in hand over the teams ahead of them.

Singapore skipper Shahril Ishak and national team-mate Baihakki Khaizan only had three training sessions with the Chiefs, and started from the bench, but they sent the partisan crowd jumping despite the heat, when they took to the field in the second half.

Shahril came on in the 52nd minute, capitalising on his 40 minutes on the pitch, scoring with a crisp finish in the 68th minute when set free by Laakkad Abdelhadi.

He returned the favour in the 88th minute with a deft chip that set the Moroccan forward free to score.

Bryant Braad nodded home the opener off a Fred Pasaribu cross in the 18th minute.

"I'm very happy with the performance of the duo. Shahril and Baihakki have shown their class as footballers, and they've only been here for a couple of days, and the way they have adapted is truly professional," said a pleased Steinebrunner, whose 24-man team is a young side with only three players aged over 30.

"I was quite surprised when I first saw the football we were playing in training - I'm enjoying it here more than at any other place. This is the kind of football we've been wanting to play all the time," Baihakki told MediaCorp.

Added Shahril: "I'm just happy to play, score and see how happy that makes the fans."

The fans were happy indeed: a mini pitch invasion - of little boys - occurred after the final whistle, while the older lads, decked in red and waving their Medan flags, escorted the Chiefs' team bus out, on their fleet of motorcycles.



FIFA Discuss Indonesia

FIFA - (clears throat)
PSSI - (clears throat and move pens around)
FIFA - (moves pens and handphones)
PSSI - (place handphones on table and smile 'cos they have bigger and better than FIFA)
FIFA - ok, let's start this meeting but I wanna be finished because have a golfing appointment at 10 am. Umm, Indonesia, what's all this we keep reading about match fixing and corruption?
PSSI - just our enemies. They have produced no evidence. Where are you playing?
FIFA - I see. So there is nothing like that going on under jurisdiction? At that course about 15 minutes away.
PSSI - no. If there was we would have heard about it!
FIFA - (guffaws)
PSSI - if we hear anything we will investigate...
PIFA - (frowns)
PSSI - I was going to add we will investigate thoroughly and take stern action
FIFA - that's wonderful to know. Please put that in the press release, the saps love strong sounding adjectives and adverbs. OK, let's get our clubs...

Sunday, February 27, 2011


LPI Confusion

I've been quick o praise the PR savviness of the Liga Primer Indonesia over recent weeks, a relative term given their up against the PSSI. But now a whine and quite a big one at that.

Bloody hell. Bit of confusion over when the Jakarta v Aceh game was in LPI. Local tabloid said Monday, club website said Sunday 3pm and a leaflet at last game said Sunday 7pm...Asked on Twitter and the LPI folks said Monday 3pm. They're wrong. It's on now...just drove past the bloody stadium, could have gone to see the bloody game...guess they had enough punters already, didn't need any more


FAS Statement

SINGAPORE, 27 February 2011: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) notes that Shahril Ishak and Baihakki Khaizan have made known through our media their decision to play for Medan Chiefs in the Indonesian Premier League (LPI).

Mr Zainudin Nordin, President, Football Association of Singapore, said: "FAS is proud of all Singaporean footballers who have achieved the high standards of play and professional recognition which bring to them commercially rewarding engagements by professional clubs in other countries. We encourage all our professional footballers to strive for such recognition and benefits.

FAS also recognizes that professional footballers have a short career span, coupled with the risk of suffering sudden career-ending injuries. Hence, when the opportunity for more rewarding engagements arises, footballers have to consider them seriously, for their own and their families' well-being. Most of the time, there is little conflict between the immediate benefits which these opportunities bring and the possible long-term drawbacks.

However, the situation for Shahril and Baihakki belongs to that smaller percentage where realising the immediate benefits come with the risk of possible long-term drawbacks which can be significant for a professional player. Both players have opted to play in a League which is not sanctioned by the country's football association. Depending on Fifa’s ruling on the issue, Shahril and Baihakki may find themselves disqualified from playing for Singapore and possibly Fifa-sanctioned Leagues for a significant period of time.

FAS knows both players to be mature individuals and experienced football professionals who are capable of undertaking the risk-benefit assessment before making a decision in their best interests. It would have been an ideal situation if the high salaries are paid by a club properly sanctioned by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).

We extend our sincere well wishes to both Shahril and Baihakki."

COMMENT - nicely non committal. Both players are on the bench today against Real Mataram


Sticky Fingers

With FIFA due to discuss Indonesia at a meeting next week more allegations out there about sleaze in domestic football with another excellent series of articles in Tempo magazine. Whether or not FIFA will consider any of the damning evidence of the last few weeks is a moot point. Their interests and football's interests don't alway coincide.

The former manager of Persisam was recently jailed for diverting local government funds meant to subsidise the club. During the court case it was revealed he gave over 200 million rupiah (about 22,000 USD) to leading Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) officials. The PSSI deny it of course saying the money was a 'donation' to the national team.

Which is interesting. Normally FAs disburse money to clubs. Is it normal for it to happen the other way round? Do Chelsea or Tampines Rovers slip their FA a few bob to help them out?

The PSSI should be ok though. If the money was channeled to the national team then there would be a paper trail to that effect and they would be easily able to prove the allegations false.

Or would they? When an auditor went through the books of Indonesian football clubs they were lucky if they found a few numbers on a spreadsheet! Oh, and don't mention tax!

Back at Persisam, it was also revealed that contracts were marked up. One player, Victor Simon, signed a contract for 275 million rupiah. He received 175 million. I understand that is one case gathering dust at FIFA.

Persma Manado have all but slipped off the football map but the courts are making sure they stay in the news with the former chairman, who just happened to be mayor as well, being jailed for using club funds. He was also ordered to pay back 64 billion rupiah.

Money slated for PSIS were allegedly siphoned off to be used in an election campaign. The man himself of course denies using public money in this manner but he does admit bribing PSSI officials saying he didn't enjoy it but 'they system demanded it.'

Persibo Bojonegoro, who withdrew from the Indonesia Super League to take part in the Liga Primer Indonesia so they would not be reliant on public funds, have three former officials being investigating for siphoning off up to 40% of a grant.

The government is keen to stop this rampant abuse and intend to fully prohibit the use of local government money by teams. Actually clubs can't use it now but there are more loopholes in the regulations and clubs, often run by politicians, know them inside out. By 2012 clubs should be standing on their own two feet. Or 22 feet.

There is of course no justification for clubs squeezing the taxpayer. PSIS in 2007 received 14 billion rupiah in subsidies while health and education got a tenth of that.

For the time being the body that runs Indonesian football, Liga Indonesia, keeps its head in the sand. The CEO says that any clubs involved in irregularities is 'not our responsibility' and that they aren't in a position to audit clubs themselves. When asked about corruption he said that the LI don't 'want to be over committed. No need for us to lecture them either.'

There's the problem. The people running the game, be it the PSSI or the LI, just don't give a toss. Nor, obviously, do FIFA. Apathy + Corruption + Incompetence = A Need For Change.


Results 26/02

Divisi Utama

PSSB v Persiraja 0-2 (Christian Bekatal 2) 1,212
Persikota v Persis 3-0 (Leonard Soputan, Adolfo Michel Souza, Hendra Saputra) 2,725

1 - Persiraja 13 10 2 1 25-12 32
2 - PSAP 13 8 4 1 21-9 28

Liga Primer Indonesia

Bandung v Tangerang Wolves 1-2 (Perry Somah; Junaidi, Wallace)
Batavia Union v Bogor Raya 2-1
Persibo v Bali Devata 1-1 (Samsul Arif; Jeno Wiliantara)
Persema v Minangkabau 1-1 (Han Sang Min;)

Thai Premier League

Bangkok Glass v Muang Thong United 0-0
Osotspa v Chonburi 2-2
Samut Songkram v Sisaket 2-1
Siam Navy v Chiang Rai United 1-3
TTM Phichit v BEC Tero 1-3

Malaysia Super League

Johor FC v Selangor 0-0
Negeri Sembilan v Sabah 1-0 (Hairuddin Omar)
Pahang v Perak 0-2 (Shafiq Jamal, Rakhli)
Harimau Muda A v Felda United 1-1 (Zakaria; Liew Kit Kong)
T Team v Perlis 3-0 (Khalid 2, Rahman)

1 - Kelantan 5 3 2 0 10-3 11
2 - Perak 5 3 2 0 5-1 11
3 - Negeri Sembilan 5 3 0 2 5-4 9

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Persiba's Good Fortune

Persiba Bantul's thrust to the Indonesia Super League is being powered by the goals of 23 year old Udo Fortune. The Nigerian has hit 20 out of his team's 29 goals in their opening 13 games and despite losing yesterday to Persebaya he still scored twice.

Despite his youth Fortune has been kicking round the region for a few years now. He was part of the doomed Spoting Afrique who had one forgettable season on the SLeague. Fortune though had impressed enough

In 2007 he was snapped up by Balestier Khalsa who had a poor season but victories away to Home United and Tampines Rovers had a big say in where the title went that year.

2008 saw him trying his luck across the Causeway with Negeri Sembilan but it was a short lived stay as the following year saw Malaysia slam the door shut on foreigners.

Fortune headed to Indonesia with Arema but he wasn't retained ahead of their ISL title winning season and he spent 2009/2010 playing for Persikab in the Divisi Utama before moving to Bantul ahead of the current season.


Results 25/02

Divisi Utama

Persipasi v PSMS 3-2 (Serge Emalue, Mansyur, Stephen Mennoch; Rahmad, Saputra) 6,231
Persita v Pro Titan 2-1 (Christian Carrasco 2; Suyanto) 5,735
PSLS v PSAP 0-1 (Suryadi) 8,671
Persih v Persikabo 3-2 (Leanardo Veron, M Zahrul, Firman Usman; Zaenal Arif, Jarot) 2,743
Persires v Persitara 2-1 (Ali Agam, Efbrik Pradana; Firman Septian) 600
PSIS v PPSM 1-0 (Aris Indarto) 5,255
PSIM v Perseman 3-1 (Maran, Anderson, Nova Zaenal; Jairon Feliciano)
Persik v Persiram 0-0 3,765
Persebaya v Persib Bantul 4-2 (Charlie Orock, Sackie Doe, Kornelis 2; Fortune Udo 2)
Persigo v PSS 2-0 (Marman, Mamonto) 672
PSBI v PSMP 2-0 (Han Jiho, Purwanto) 5,575
Persekam v Persipro 1-0 (Harmoko) 1,502
Perseru v PSIR 2-0 (Arey, Setiyabudi) 1,127
Persidafon v Persiku 5-0 (Patrick Wanggai 3, Ernest Jeremiah, Cirelli) 2,215

PSAP moved to within one point of leaders Persiraja with their narrow win away to PSLS in the Acehenese derby. Persipasi keep close to the leaders with a narrow win over PSMS who were followed by about 100 or so fans. PSIM put some daylight between themselves and Perseman in a game played with fans by the look of it. Persik's disappointing season continued; they have netted 1 goals in 13 games with 10 of them from Adrian Trinidad. Freescoring Udo Fortune has 20 for the season but his brace couldn't help Persiba away to Persebaya while Persidafon moved five points clear after their thumping of Persiku


Etoile v Balestier Khalsa 0-0 769


EXCLUSIVE - PSSI Eye New Chairman

I can reveal that top level negotiations are ongoing to solve the impasse at the Indonesian Football Association and that a new name has entered the fray.

Officials are looking at offering under pressure Libyan president Maumaar Ghadaffi the job with Nurdin Halid taking over Libya and possibly Egypt as they share the same border.

Someone close to the talks sees the solution as a win win for all sides. 'Ghadaffi's son knows about football as he is a shareholder in Juventus. And the last time Indonesia won anything it was the Merdeka Cup when they played Libya in the final.'

That final ended when the Libyan coach was allegedly smacked in the mouth at home time with his team leading 1-0. They stayed in the tunnel and the match was awarded to Indonesia 3-1.

The source though is unperturbed. 'It was just a misunderstanding.


New Stadium Mooted

Don't hold your breath but with Lebak Bulus Stadium due to be demolished for a railway line the city government are looking at building a new stadium on Fatmawati Golf Course.

Is that really likely? Jakarta has shown it's not a great football fan, are they really gonna upset a bunch of golfers in daft trousers to accommodate some football urchins?

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The Bandung Zoo Demo

Monkeys at Bandung Zoo were upset when football fans, disenchanted by the way the Football Association is being run, hung up banners calling for reform and ouster of the head.

In a statement they felt that while they appreciated the sentiments they were upset being linked with a man who was once jailed for corruption.

'We, the undersigned, would like to express our outrage and shock at the events earlier today that led to a number of banners being put on our cages protesting the Indonesian Football Association.

While the protest was peaceable we were unable to get any extra food or light because the banners were spread across our cages.

We would like to point out that we are in favour of the protests and would have happily joined in only no-one asked us.

We are however concerned at being linked with the FA in this manner. OK, so the head of the FA has spent time behind bars and we spend every day behind bars. But that is where the similarity ends. He was put behind bars for a reason. We are here for no real reason that makes any sense to us.

After the fans had dispersed and gone home a young family came to the enclosure and fed us some juicy bananas. As they were leaving one of them turned to the eldest one in the group and said 'Daddy, is that the PSSI?'

As you can imagine we were most offended by this comment and we demanded immediate retraction but they just laughed and took some photographs of us.'


Thai Champions Axe Coach

There are hot seats and there are hot seats and the hot seast at Muang Thong United must be one of the hottest seats in Thai football. Apparently the Champions of the TPL the last two seasons don't recognise the words mai pen rai when it comes to their football club.

In a managerial merry go round on a par with Persib Muang Thong have sacked their new coach Carlos Carvalho before he had time to change his socks. And they have yet to play a league game this season.

They have gone after one big name in England but will probably end up with someone far humbler.


All Change At Persib

With Baihakki Khaizan, Pablo Frances (on loan to Persikabo?) and Shahril Ishak leaving the club and a poor first half to the season it was always going to be a busy transfer window in Bandung and so it's proving.

Former Home United and Persitara player Itimi Dickson was due to trial with Persib earlier this week but got stuck in traffic! Other players though have managed to impress with the first signing being Herman Abanda after half a season with Persema.

Persib are also looking at a couple of Montenegrans. Mijan Radovic and Zdravko Dragievic have been trialling with the club this week.

One more confirmed signing is Shonei Matsunaga, a Japanese player who spent time playing in Germany.


Persijap Snap Big Names

Things have been pretty poor this season for Persijap with the team struggling to find any kind of consistency on he field.

Two new signings may change that. The club have signed former Persipura marksman Alberto Goncalves and to provide him with ammunition they have added Jose Sebastian.


Results 23/02

Olympic Qualifiers

Thailand v Palestine 1-0 (Narat Patchya) 6,000
Malaysia v Pakistan 2-0 (Zakaria, Irfan) 6,596
Yemen v Singapore POSTPONED
Indonesia v Turkmenistan 1-3 (Titus John) 25,000


SAFFC v Tanjung Pagar United 2-1 (Mislav Kagolan, Fazrul Nawaz; Takaya Kawanabe) 2,135


Persiba Add AFF Cup Star

Philippine international Jason de Jong has signed for Indonesia Super League side Persiba.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


A Big Hand For The Advisers

In SLeague - The Big Kick Off, a handbook put together to commemorate the SLeague's opening season the eight debutant teams are listed along with the players and officials.

Amid all the coaches, trainers and physios are advisors. Eight clubs, there were 12 advisors. And each of them was a parliamentarian.

Given the shortage of cash and low crowds that afflict the game one can only wonder what sort of 'advise' was given by them illustrious folk.


Aussies In SLeague Debut Season

The SLeague opened in 2006 and these were the Australians who were there for that first ever season.

Tampines Rovers

Scott O'Donell

Tiong Bahru

Ivan Kelic
Mark Silic
Pedro Ricoy

Woodlands Wellington

Joe Caleta


Pele & Cantona Help SLeague Revolution.

In what is a massive coup Young Lions have confirmed that Eric Cantona and Pele will be coming to Singapore to help promote then newly branded team.


Demos Across The Country

The election is only two weeks away and subject to appeal there are just two candidates to lead the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI). The incumbent, Nurdin Halid, is seeking a third term in office while running against him is Nirwan Bakrie, a powerfully connected businessman who has long been involved at the PSSI and owns Pelita Jaya.

You can't help but be reminded of that old joke about elections. No matter who you vote for, the same people get re-elected!

The PSSI has long been under the control of Golkar, the political party that was once headed by dictator Suharto. Nirwan's brother is the current leader of the party and Nurdin has represented them in the past. General Secretary Nugraha Besoes has also been involved in Golkar in the past.

May be not on the scale of Egypt or Tunisia but demos across the country yesterday called for Nurdin, who has spent time behind bars in contravention of FIFA statutes (like they care) calling on Nurdin to step down.

The breakaway league, Liga Primer Indonesia, is gaining in popularity, partly inspired by teen idol Irfan Bachdim, partly because it ain't PSSI and totally because it's seen as cleaner.

Protests were recorded yesterday in Banda Aceh, Palembang (potentially embarrassing with an Olympic Qualifier there tonight against Turkmenistan), Jakarta, Semarang, Jepara, Solo, Pontianak, Surabaya, Malang and Makassar with protests on going as I write in Jakarta at the PSSI offices.

The government has threatened to get involved if the PSSI does get its house in order and that seems unlikely for now.

Indonesian football needs change. The fans deserve it. If Nurdin does the honourable thing and step down or withdraw then who would takeover? And would they do a better job of things?

Football mirrors society. The entrenched leviathans resist change and resist transparency. They're not used it and they shun it as much as possible. Cutting the head off won't change that. The struggle for a new football in Indonesia is a continuation of the struggle for reformasi that began in the late 90s when Suharto was toppled.

It's Indonesia's fight and so far, through social networking and word of mouth, they are giving it their best shot.

But will it be enough?


FIFA Ignorant Of Indonesian Reality

Pressure continues to mount on embattled Indonesian FA Nurdin Halid. Fans across the country staged demos yesterday against his leadership and against his plans to stay for another term. Recently an FA verification panel rejected the bids from two outsiders to enter the polls.

Halid of course has spent time in jail but this doesn't seem to worry anyone in the game. Except the fans. FIFA seem quite happy to have him continue in his own merry way. And he is also bidding to lead the ASEAN Football Federation even though he can't speak Thai or Vietnamese let alone English that well.

Across the Arab world people are rising up against paternal authority figures who think they no best and assume to tell the rest of the country what they should say, do or think. These dinosaurs are being consigned to history yet in Indonesia the happy little band seem intent on hanging on in there.

Things are getting so divisive that yesterday on Twitter someone asked if I was a Nurdin man!

A book has been published alleging misdeeds of the man in quesion and more protests are scheduled.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Aussies In LPI


Robbie Gaspar (Pictured in white)

Semarang United

Josh Maguire

Solo Ksatria

David Micevski
Alex Vrteski

Bogor Raya

Andrija Jukic (pictured in black)

Am I missing any?

Yep, I was!

PSM Makassar

Goran Subara
Srecko Mitrovic


Koreans In SLeague

Balestier Khalsa

Lim Young Woo
Kim Young Kwang

Geylang United

Kim Jae Hong
Joo Ki Hwan

Gombak United

Kwon Jin Sung
Chang Jo Yoon
Park Kang Jin

Home United

Kim Dae Eui

Tampines Rovers

Park Yo Seb

Tanjong Pagar United

Kim Jong Oh
Hyun Jong Woon
Kim Seong Kyu


Sriwijaya Fear Future Without Hand Outs

Sriwijaya Palembang are the most successful football club in Indonesia over recent years. The won the Divisi Utama, before it was upgraded to Indonesia Super League, in 2007, three Indonesia Cups, one Inter Island Cup and a couple of Charity Shields.

They have become a regular competitor in Asian club football with 2011 seeing them enter AFC Cup for the second consecutive season after a campaign in the ACL in 2009.

But they seem unable to turn all that success on the field into cash in the back and in an interview with tabloid Top Skor wonder whether they could even carry on with local government hand outs.

They have a couple of sponsors but they are state owned enterprises prominent in South Sumatra. Sriwijaya seem to lack the wit or know how to leverage their success and brand across the country into cold hard cash. Having the governor of the province to ask the head of a government business to hand over some cash isn't marketing and anyway how many football fans who follow the team are interested in mining or fertiliser companies.

Despite their success attendances are on the low side, rarely breaking 20,000 and with ticket prices between 20,000 and 50,000 rupiah no-one is expecting a windfall at the gate. And don't mention souvenir sales. Oh sorry, just did.

The city of Palembang is an ambitious place. International flights are available to Malaysia and Singapore; they are co-hosting the SEA Games in 2011 and the Jakabaring Stadium is frequently used for big games. The ingredients are in place to make Sriwijaya an Indonesian powerhouse. Perhaps all that is needed now is a major private investor to take over ala Muang Thong United?


Indonesia Division 3

Today sees the semi final of Division 3. Both games are due to be played at Lebak Bulus Stadium but last I checked no-one knew who was playing who! What kind of crap is that? Actually it's business as normal.

The teams competing I guess to join Division 2 are Mitra Bola Utama Sidoarjo, Ikatan Sepak Bola Purworejo, PS TGM Medan and Peribolmut Bolaang Mongondow Utara.

I would check the PSSI website but it was down a minute ago...oh well.


Indonesia Standings

Indonesia Super League

1 - Persipura 14 10 2 2 39-11 32
2 - Arema 14 7 5 2 25-9 26
3 - Persija 14 8 2 4 20-10 26
4 - Semen Padang 14 7 5 2 21-15 26

16 - Boaz Solossa (Persipura)
9 - Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang)
7 - Herman Dzumafo (PSPS), Kenji Adichihara (Bontang)

Divisi Utama

Group 1

1 - Persiraja 12 9 2 1 23-12 29
2 - PSAP 12 7 4 1 20-9 25
3 - Persipasi 12 6 3 3 19-8 21

Group 2

1 - Mitra Kukar 12 8 1 3 23-7 25
2 - Persema 12 6 3 3 9-3
3 - PSIM 12 6 3 3 13-7 21

Group 3

1 - Persidafon 12 8 3 1 21-6 27
2 - Persiba 12 8 2 2 27-5 26
3 - PSBI 12 6 2 4 11-7 20

18 - Fortune Udo (Persiba Bantul)
12 - Osas Marvelous (PSAP), Franco Hita (Mitra Kukar)
10 - Adrian Trinidad (Persik)


Exclusive! FIFA Meet To Discuss Indonesia

Monday, February 21, 2011


Balloons & Popcorn

I'm sorry but we're talking about football here, not the bloody fun fair! Nobody was ever enticed to a football match because of bloody balloons and candy floss!

If fans are only attracted by a long list of freebies then perhaps they ain't the market you're after...look elsewhere.


Home Free Home

Home United's return to Bishan Stadium is being marked with a number of activities. Yesterday players were at a shopping mall near the stadium meeting potential fans and trying to prise them away from the comfort of their stress filled lives (it's in the paper everyday so gotta be true) and attend a real life football match in a real life stadium.

Coupons will be given out to people who must then attend the game where they will be given a Home United goodie bag whatever that may be.

On match day the first 600 will get free food and everyone can watch the match free.

Yeah, I know they're making an effort and all that but free admission? There's a new mall opened near us and they're starting life with a sale of up to 70%. Sends the wrong message. Giving free food may appeal to Singaporeans but for me it's something associated with the homeless (oh, just noticed that!), not a healthy middle class with cash to burn.

Make 'em pay I say!


Pele Going To SLeague Game

Young Lions have announced Pele will be attending their home game with Geylang United on 3 March. He will be joined by well known fisherman and kick boxer Eric Cantona.

I've seen Pele a couple of times and never seen what all the fuss was about. First time he ran round the pitch at Highbury before Arsenal played Aston Villa in 1981, the game Villa won the league. As he ran in front of the North Bank there were chants of 'You'll Never Play For Arsenal.' There was alomost 60,000 in the ground that day but none were there because of him, believe me.

About a decade later I was on the other side of the world and bugger me our paths cross again. This time it was at National Soccer League game between St George and Marconi and this time you could say he doubled the gate. At least. He did another lap of honour (by the way I can do a lap of honour as well and would be much cheaper*) and this time the St George fans, all 15 of us, chanted 'We All Agree, (Zoran) Ilic Is Better Than Pele).

They will probably add a few to the gate at Jalan besar Stadium but it will take than a couple of has beens to boost interest among the apathetic.

* Return flights on SQ, a Hotel 81 on Joo Chiat and my beer tab covered plus a donation to my retirement fund

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Irfan Mania

Irfan Bachdim interview now on Jakarta Casual TV and his coach Timo with some images on Asian Football Pictures!

You've seen Hollywood and bollywood? Now take a look at Mallywood on Asian Football Pictures!


Malaysia FA Cup 2011

1st Round

Harimau Muda A v Penang SDM Navy 4-0
T Team v Kelantan 1-1 (Kelantan win 6-5 on pens)
Selangor PKNS v MP Muar 5-0
Pahang v Sabah 2-1
PDRM v Perak 1-4
Melaka v Sime Darby 0-5
ATM v Sarawak 2-0
Penang USM v Terengganu 1-2
Johor Melodi Jaya v Harimau Muda B 0-4
Penang v Johor 1-5
Johor FC v KL SPA 5-0
Perlis v Felda United 0-2

2nd round will be played 4 March. For fuller info check Malaysia Football.


SLeague - Week 1

Young Lions v SAFFC 0-2 (Fazrul Nawaz, Mislav Karoglan) 2,534
Hougang United v Woodlands Wellington 1-0 (Mamadou Diallo) 1,547
Balestier Khalsa v Home United 1-1 (Lim Young Woo; Sufian Anuar) 1,330
Albirex Niigata v Tanjung Pagar 5-0 (Ihata, Matsui, Saito 2, Yokuyama) 1,928
Geylang United v Etoile 0-2 (Belouet, Kaabi) 1,240
Gombak United v Tampines Rovers 1-1 (Park Kang Jin; Park Yo Sueb) 2,353

Good starts to the season are always important and for the leading contenders for SLeague 2011 it was doubly so as they all faced tricky away games. So it's advantage SAFFC and Etoile as they secured maximum points while Home United will be well peeved not to have secured three points away to Balestier Khalsa

Biggest surprise though was Albirex Niigata thumping new boys Tanjung Pagar, hitting five without reply leaving them top of the league after,um, one game. But will they be there come the end of the season, eh? Eh?


Indonesia Is The Story!

With so much happening in Indonesia I've been overlooking events in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand who have all recently kicked off their seasons.

It's worth pointing out here that the Indonesia Super League and the Divisi Utama, the official leagues, are in their mid season break. The fact that I'm getting so much from the Liga Primer Indonesia says alot about the people who run the game. I contact clubs or officials and they get back to me and are happy to accommodate a lard arsed English guy who turns down their offer of water and asks for beer.

It was only a few weeks ago that I was approached by an official at a Divisi Utama game who looked at me suspicioulsy and wanted to know what I was doing at the game! He said that if I was from the LPI I would have to leave!

And therein lies a major cultural difference between the two leagues. The PSSI is run by political types who shun publicity and treat outsiders with suspicion while the LPI is run by eager young folk who have grown up with the internet and foreign travel and know a thing or two about how things should work.


ASEAN Competitions 2011

VIENTIANE (19 Feb 2011) – Laos and Indonesia will each host two tournaments of the AFF this year – following the decisions of the AFF Council this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur.

Laos, who had successfully organised the qualifying round of the AFF Suzuki Cup last year, will host the AFF Under-16 Championship and also the AFF Women’s Football Championship.

The AFF U16 Championship 2011, in preparation for the AFC qualifiers, will be held on 7-17 July 2011 with the following groupings.

GROUP A: Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Indonesia

GROUP B: Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Cambodia, Philippines

Also in Vientiane would be the AFF Women’s Football Championship which will be held in the second week of October.

The participating teams for this meet are Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.

Indonesia, who were co-hosts of the AFF Suzuki Cup final round, will organise the AFF Futsal Championship and also the AFF Under-23 Championship.

The AFF Futsal Championship which will be a one-round league format, will be held in Jakarta in the second week of April 2011.

The teams taking part are Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

In the meantime, the AFF U23 meet which will most likely be held in Palembang will be held on 18-24 July 2011.

The tournament which is being used in preparation for the SEA Games this year see five teams taking part and they are Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar and Timor Leste.

The only remaining tournament this year is the AFF Under-19 Championship which will be hosted by Myanmar on 1-10 September 2011.

The groupings for the tournament are as follows:

GROUP A: Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia

GROUP B: Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam


Results 19/02

AFC Champions League Qualifier

Sriwijaya v Al Ain 0-4

As Sriwijaya bid to reach the group stage of the AFC Champions League their own FA did nothing to help them by scheduling a game against Persijap between both qualifiers.

Liga Primer Indonesia

Bandung v PSM 1-1 (Perry Somah; Andi Oddang)
Tangerang Wolves v Batavia Union 3-3 (OG, M Yusuf, Victor Hugo; Juan Cortez 2, Tantan)
Cendrawasih v Semerang United 1-2 (Izak Masen; M Yusuf, Mariawan)
Real Mataram v Manado United 2-2 (Zainal Abidan, Fernando Soler; Razi Alkarani, Amaral)

To show how radical the LPI is, Semerang won in Papua with a late, late winner. Unheard of in the 'official' league.

Thai Premier League

Chonburi v Thai Port 2-0
Sisaket v Navy 1-1


AFF Cup 2012

The ASEAN Football Federation have decided that Thailand and Malaysia will co-host the 2012 AFF Cup. Malaysia of course are the holders having defeated Indonesia in the 2010 event.

ASEAN's premier football event has boomed over the last couple of years with high profile sponsors and increased media coverage. The two legged final between Indonesia and Malaysia in 2010 attracted something like 180,000 fans to both games.

Year Hosts Winners

2010 Indonesia/Vietnam Malaysia
2008 Thailand/Indonesia Vietnam
2007 Singapore/Thailand Singapore


Now Nurdin Wants To Take On AFF

After eight years as Chairman of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Nurdin Halid has decided he wants to be President of the ASEAN Football Association. Such is the lust for power if he can't be President he is happy enough to be Vice President.

Halid recently failed to be elected to the Asian Football Confederation and is up for re-election with the PSSI this year; a job he seems likely to retain after it was announced two of his main rivals were banned from taking part by a verification committee.

The former Makassar and Golkar MP is a controversial figure in Indonesia. He has served time in jail on corruption charges yet despite it being in contravention of FIFA statutes the gnomes in Switzerland were content to let the PSSI go on with business as usual.

Demos are regularly held against his alleged mismanagement and within the game of football it is difficult to find a good word for the man who has ran the game for the last eight years. Songs have been written demanding he stand down and chants of Nurdin Turun (Nurdin Step Down) are a regular occurrence at internationals and league games, perhaps prompting the PSSI to move the Olympic Qualifier against Turkmenistan to Palembang.

During the recent AFF Cup which Indonesia co-hosted banners were set up around Jakarta and in the stadium praising his efforts to bring success to the national team but the fans weren't so impressed as this video shows.

Not just Jakarta. The picture top left shows a picture of the man himself that was made by someone and hung up at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in KL during the 1st leg of the AFF Cup Final

The alleged incompetence of the PSSI was a driving force behind the creation of the Liga Primer Indonesia.

In football, politics is just as murky as in real life...

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Interview With Today

Yesterday I was interviewed by Today, a Singapore newspaper, about the Liga Primer Indonesia. Just to show how little I know about anything moments after the interview when I boldly said the PSSI would focus more on the upcoming election they go and pass judgment on 53 individuals involved with the rebel league.

Coming next I exclusively reveal Hosni Mubarak will remain in power in Egypt and England will host the 2018 World Cup...


On Twitter!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter. It's where I post snippets of gossip, what's on the horizon and pithy comments about anything else!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Cough Up, Son

ZURICH (AP) - FIFA has suspended Israel coach Luis Fernandez with immediate effect over a debt he owes to a club in Qatar.

FIFA says it told the Israeli federation of the ban Thursday because Fernandez has not obeyed a November 2009 ruling by the governing body's disciplinary committee.

The 51-year-old Frenchman has a long-standing financial dispute with Qatari club Al Rayyan which he coached in 2005.

Fernandez, who took the Israel job last March, says on the federation website that he expects the problem will be solved before 2012 European Championship qualifying matches against Latvia and Georgia next month.

Federation president Avi Luzon, who is a UEFA executive committee member, says he'll meet with Fernandez next week.

UPDATE - so Qatar get some belated satisfaction through FIFA yet how many players have cases pending over disputes with Indonesian teams and nothing gets done?


PSSI Hand Down Judgement

The Indonesian FA, known as PSSI locally, have handed down their first judgments on people involved in the breakaway Liga Primer Indonesia. A total of 53 individuals have had their knuckles rapped and sent to bed without any jam on their scones.

Pity poor Fiator Ambarita. He has lost his C1 referee's license and his B coaching license.

A complete list can be found here and the justification, in Indonesian, here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Sergio Van Dyke Rejects LPI

Adelaide United striker Sergio Van Dyke has rejected talk he may move to the Liga Primer Indonesia. He is applying for Indonesian citizenship and feels playing in the rebel league could jeopardise his chances of representing Indonesia in the future.


International Transfer Certificate

Rather like a credit card, no player can leave home without one. They are issued by Football Associations and without an ITC a transfer cannot go ahead.

Obviously this creates an issue in the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia. Not being registered with the local FA, obviously the LPI cannot start issuing or requesting ITCs as other FAs are gonna ask Wo Are Ya?

Forget deporting players, this is the LPI's Achilles heel. Foreign players need one and, for example players like Pierre Njanka and Shahril Ishak, who have left the official Indonesia Super League for the LPI, their registration probably still lies with the FA.

When an LPI player moves to an official league, the FA there will request the ITC from the Indonesian FA. Then things could get very interesting.


Zickler To Be Bonek?

Reports suggesting former Bayern Munchen and German striker Alexander Zickler could be the next big name to move to the Liga Primer Indonesia. However his coach at Persebaya 1927 Aji Santoso seems to be in the dark, not knowing his name, where he is or when he's coming. Let's hope Aji does know that his team are playing Bali Devata this weekend.


Thailand Olympic Qualifier Squad

Goalkeepers: Ukrit Wongmeema (Buriram FC), Kawin Thamsatchanan (Muang Thong)

Defenders: Komkrit Camsokchuerk (Roi Et), Theeratorn Boonmatan (Buriram-PEA), Chalermsuk Kaewsuktae (Chainat FC), Todsapol Lated (Thai Port FC)

Midfielders: Sujarit Jantakul (Sriracha FC), Seeket Madputeh (Pattaya United), Supakorn Prompinit (Sriracha FC), Pokklaw A-Nan (Police Uited) Phuritad Jarikanon (Chonburi FC), Niranrit Jarernsuk (Pattaya United), Attapong Nooprom (Sriracha FC), Weerawut Kayem (Muang Thong)

Strikers: Chayanan Pombuppha (Police Uited), Patchaya Narach (n/a), Krirkrit Thaweekarn (Sriracha FC), Thanat Jantaya (Air Force United)

They play Palestine next week after friendlies against Malaysia and Pakistan.

Source - Thai Fussball

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Zesh Rehman (Muang Thong United & Pakistan)

Yesterday I met up with Pakistan captain and new signing for Muang thong United A=Zesh Rehman. In a wide ranging chat we touched on racism, Thailand and Pakistan. Catch the interview on Jakarta Casual TV


Singapore Duo Switch To LPI?

Local reports are suggesting that Persib's Singapore pair, Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak, could be heading to Medan Chiefs in the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia.

The Chiefs are coached by Jorg Steinbrunner who is familiar to both players after his lengthy spell in Singapore as a player and coach.

Shahril has hardly had a chance to shine since arriving at Persib before the end of the SLeague season while Bai had been benched by new coach Daniel Roekito.

The move could be good for both parties. From what I hear the atmosphere inside Persib, one of the biggest clubs in the country is at times poisonous with little clear direction and accusations of interference.

Bandung is a football crazy city along the lines of Newcastle and it can be very difficult for players to find down time. Medan is likely to be gentler on the nerves and playing under Steinbrunner again could see the duo regain their best form.


Indonesian Railways Say No More Fans

Kerata Api, the Indonesian Railway company, have announced they will no longer carry football fans. They say many fans cause damage to trains, sit on the roof and don't buy tickets.

No-one I guess asked why the fans were allowed to sit on he roof or why they were allowed on the train without tickets.

There was a highly publicised case last season featuring Persebaya fans who travelled by rail to Bandung. The journey was filmed by news camera crews at major stations and showed clips of fans being involved in rock fights as they passed through enemy territory such as Lamongan and Solo.

The nation lapped it up, soaking up the coverage on TV, tut tutting their middle class prejudice at the screens while taking a secret, perverse delight in what happens at Indonesian football, their football.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Bradford City & South East Asia

You know you have too much free time when you can come up with nonsense like this!

Bryan Robson, current Thai national team coach, has managed Bradford City in the past. Lee Hendrie, now with Bandung in the Liga Primer Indonesia, played with them earlier in the season. And so did Zesh Rahman who now of course plays for Muang Thong United in the Thai Premier League.

Update - Thai Port blog reminds me Chris Brandon, now with BEC Tero, was with Bradford City last year!


More Deportation Threats

The Indonesian FA are hoping to have 22 foreign players deported from the country. In what would be a spectacular PR blunder, admittedly not the first, they have sent the relevant ministry a list of players they say are playing illegally in the country.

Despite having relevant paperwork the PSSI claim that as they are the only authority empowered to organise competitive football in Indonesia then players registered with the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia are here under false pretenses and shouldn't be here.

These are the naughty boys under investigation.

Patricio Jimenez Diaz (Chile/Semarang United), Antonio Adriano Teles Junior (Brasil/Solo FC), Fernando Andrade (Brasil/Bali de Vata), Oscar Alejandro Aravena (Chile/Bali de Vata), Amarildo Luis de Souza (Brasil/Semarang United), Joshua James Maguire (Australia/Semarang United).

Javier Leopoldo Roca Sepuldeva (Chile/Batavia Union), Jong Kyung Kim (South Korea/Batavia Union), Na Byung Yul (South Korea/Batavia Union), John Tarkpor S (Liberia/Persebaya 1927), Yetna Mouaha Felix (Camerron/Manado United), Eugene Dadi (Australia/Persibo), Kim Kang Hyun (South Korea/Persibo), Carlos Eduardo Bizarro (Brasil/Persibo), Li Zhixing (China/Persibo).

Robert Mark Gaspar (Australia/Persema), Seme Patrik Pierre (Cameroon/Persema), Guy Bertrand Ngon A Mamoun (Cameroon/Persema), Srecko Mitrovic (Australia/PSM), Goran Subara (Australia/PSM), Marwan Mustafa Sayedeh (Syria/PSM), Pierre Njanka Beyaka (Cameroon/Aceh United).


Now I Wanna Be Your Doig

Following the high profile signing of Malaysian national team striker Safee Sali, Pelita Jaya are now thought to be hot on the heels of Scottish defender Christopher Doig, currently with A League side Central Coast Mariners.

Doig, who turned 30 last week, represented Scotland Under 21s about a decade ago and has also played for Queen of the South (who are actually a football team and not a Twitter account), Nottingham Forest and Northampton Town.

If this deal comes off, and coupled with Safee's arrival, it represents a serious invest in Pelita Jaya, something that hasn't happened for many a year. Indeed in recent years some cruel folk, not me I might add, have taken to calling them Zanussi.


They Could Play Abroad

Apart from several million who can claim Indonesian descent through a parent and keep cropping up on the back pages only to disappear soon after, there are no Indonesian players playing abroad at the moment. *

A few years back we had the likes of Bambang Pamungkas, Budi Sudarsono and Eli Aiboy strutting their stuff in Malaysia but given the shared history, language and culture it's a bit like an Englishman playing in Scotland. Or a Londoner in the North East.

There are two main reasons why Indonesians aren't an attractive proposition for foreign teams, not least of which is money. When Bambang Pamungkas, an articulate, urbane professional, turns down a move to Wellington Phoenix or when Erol Iba rejects a potential future in Sydney what they are doing is saying 'why the hell should uproot my family for a smaller salary. Oh, and higher taxes?'

The A League and the booming Thai Premier League are about the only feasible options should any Indonesian fancy a spell abroad. Forget the stuff about Oktavianus Maniani going to Europe or the time being.

The problem with the A League though is the money on offer while the problem with Thailand is also money. While they could match Indonesian salaries why bother when they are flooded with players willing to live and play in Thailand for less than an established Indonesian player.

The other drawback is mental toughness. It ain't easy living in a foreign country, especially when you front up on your own and told to get on with it. An Indonesian player won't have any safety net in places like Thailand and he would have to adapt very bloody quickly or he would be out on his ear. Witness Boas Solossa's omission from the national team ahead of the AFF Cup.

Supposing a club would be prepared to match or, more likely, better the wages on offer in Indonesia, and supposing a player had the mental wherewithal to get by without bakso, noodles and teh botol, what players could conceivably do a job overseas?

Megia Kurnia - Arema's promising young keeper. Considered good enough by his former coach Robert Alberts that he was willing to let first choice national team keeper Markus Horsion leave midway through a the title campaign.

Any keeper should be able to throw himself at a ball. Mostly it's instinctive and if he can't then he should find another career. What separates the good from the world class is the other stuff they do. The way they command the box, they way they marshall the defenders no matter who they are.

Alberts describes Megia as the best young keeper in South East Asia. I'd certainly place him alongside Kawin Thamasatchanan and Khairul Farmie. But in the case of Kawin I can imagine him playing overseas and getting stuck in. Can Megia?

Hamka Hamzah - Technically excellent. Good on the ball, powerful in the air, Hamka seems to have rediscovered his appetite for the game since moving to Persipura after a disappointing spell with Persisam.

Albert Riedl has recognised his return to form and he was disciplined and strong for Indonesia during the AFF Cup.

Tantan - Burst on the scene last year with some sparkling displays for Persitara and was initially called up by Riedl for trials but having signed for Batavia Union in the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia it looks like he may have blown his chance to make an impression at the highest level.

Small, tricky but blessed with an eye for a good pass Tantan has continued to shine in the LPI.

Boas Solossa - Been around yonks but still made an appearance in the 2009 SEA Games, Indonesia were planning to build their side round him during the AFF Cup 2010 but his frequent, unexplained absences from training cast a shadow over him and Riedl quickly axed him.

On fire for Persipura this season averaging over a goal a game he is finally showing the form we all know he is capable of on a regular basis. Blessed with Thierry Henry like pace and an eye for goal, if only he showed the same professionalism as the Frenchman.

Yongki Aribowo - First made Indonesian football sit up and take note a couple of seasons ago when he broke into the Persik side then blessed with big names and big reputations, he showed no signs of being overawed.

Missed the start of 2009/2010 season while preparing for the SEA Games, he returned for the second half of the season and hit the ground running though his goals came to late to save a poor Persik side from relegation.

Good upper body strength and confident in front of goal, he first stood out, for me at least, because he always seemed to have time on the ball, especially in the crowded penalty area. Not for him the blast mentality that afflicts so many in the country, Yongki knew exactly what he wanted to do, even before he got the ball.

Other people may point to Okatvianu Maniani but I remain to be convinced by him as being anything beyond an impact player. If Andi Oddang was 10 years younger he would be on the list and one player I would like to see more of is Tony Sucipto.

Any other suggestions?

* This does not include the players on the SAD project in Uruguay who will return at their end of their stint there.


Merchandising Mania

Who'd have thought it eh?

Young Lions are reporting that they made more from merchandising sales at the opening game of the season against SAFFC than they did all last season!

Umm, did they have any place selling things last season?

This ain't rocket science and it's something I been writing about for yonks. The 'fan club' culture, such as it is in Singapore, is more like a triad than a real fan club. Ritualistic chants and drumming with no outsiders allowed.

Open things up, make it more inclusive and people will respond. Young Lions showed that and so are the guys drumming up support for Hougang United.

Remember these words in the season ahead...

Monday, February 14, 2011


Results 13/02

Indonesia Super League

Bontang v PSPS 0-1 (Isnaini) 5,300
Persisam v Persija 1-0 (Ahmad Sambiring) 14,537
Persib v Persijap 4-1 (Eka Ramdani, Isnan Ali, Christian Gonzalez, Atep; Noor Hadi) 10,532

Liga Primer Indonesia

Medan Chiefs v Medan Bintang 1-1 (Majid; Paharudin)
Semarang United v Bali De Vata 1-0 (M Yusuf)
Manado United v Atjeh United 2-2 (Jardel 2; Abdurahman 2)
Persibo v Minangkabau 0-0
Jakarta 1928 v Cendrawasih Papua 2-2 (Sansan; Leanardo; Patrick Ghigani, Yance Towey)

1 - Persema 5 4 1 0 11-4 13
2 - Persebaya 4 4 0 0 13-1 12

Thai Premier League

TTM Phichit v Chiang Rai United 3-1


Jakarta 1928 v Cendrawasih Papua 2-2

Just like watching Arsenal. Well, the shirt at least.

Missed the first 15 minutes, and Jakarta's opening goal scored by Sansan. Late on in the half the Papuans came back into the game and with goals by Patrick Ghigani and Yance Yowey they went in 2-1 up at half time.

Couple of familiar faces in the Jakarta line up, both having played for Persija in the past. Up front was Emmanuel De Porres while in the middle was the pony tailed Gustavo Herman Ortiz.

Second half was all one way but Jakarta threatened little until a blatant penalty that had to be taken three times before the ref was happy. First effort scored, ref said do it again. Second effort missed, ref said do it again.

Don't recall having seen that before, normally you would expect a riot here but the chap next to me assured me everything was legit and the ref had done everything correctly. He should know, he was with a group of referees from Europe who would be taking charge of LPI games shortly.

The crowd was pants. Less than a couple of hundred. Pity the poor guy with the mega phone and two drummers trying to build up an atmosphere on the empty terraces.

Like leagues, football clubs are not developed over night.


The Worst Kept Secret

So it's confirmed. Baihakki Khaizan, Shahril Ishak and Nova Arianto are surplus to requirements at Persib and are being released. Three other names could well be let out on loan.

Are they the right departures? Obviously changes needed to be made. The club boast perhaps the strongest squad in the country yet the only time they really performed in the first half of the season was a 5-1 thumping of Persiba.

Too often they never showed up and a nadir was reached away to PSPS when a performance so devoid of any passion or committment got away lightly with a 1-0 defeat.

They're on to their third coach of the season. With these changes will it be enough to turn the season around or do deeper cuts need contemplating?

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Mijo Rejects Talk Of Persib Move

Yesterday at the Patriot Stadium I was asked if I knew anything about the rumour linking Mijo Dadic, the Persiba central defender, to Persib.

I spoke with him a couple of days ago and he said he was contracted to Persiba until the end of September and he was very happy at Persiba.


Phnom Penh Crown

Ambition is not measured by what you say. If it was then Tottenham would be the biggest club in the known universe.

No, what's important about ambition is how you set about achieving it. And it's not just the glamour names that show ambition, it's the little touches around the club that show how how determined the club is.

Take Phnom Penh Crown for example. The Cambodia League champions have signed for My Team coach Bojan Hodak as coach with former national team coach Scott O'Donell also on board.

The signing of Kingsley Njoku was also a statement of intent while allowing Khim Borey the chance to play across the border in Thailand with Si Sa Ket shows the importance they place in player development.

Off the field the club are way ahead of other Cambodian clubs. Actually, they are way ahead of teams in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in some respects. An informative web site is regulalry updated. Please not a website. Not the Twitter Facebook which are useful additions to the media locker but are not the only way of spreading message.

Now Phnom Penh Crown have released their first ever Yearbook and a fascinating read it is too.

Can other teams in the region match the efforts of Cambodia's finest?


Lee Hendrie

Finally uploaded the Lee Hendrie to Jakarta Casual TV. More images of the Robbie Williams lookalike can be found at Asian Football Pictures.

Right, time for me to return to real life.


Opening Day Feedback

Wasn't able to get to Jalan Besar for the SLeague opener yesterday but here's a couple of reviews of the game and the atmosphere.

Bola Sepako
Lions All The Way


SLeague Article

With the new season getting underway in Singapore what's there to look forward to off the field? Plenty! Check out my story on the official SLeague website!


Pelita Jaya's Change Of Policy?

Despite being backed by the deep pockets of one of Indonesia's richest and most influential families Pelita Jaya have been a lame duck for many, many years. Back in the semi professional years they were the big boys, winning trophies and signing players like Mario Kempes and Roger Milla.

Recently though, and especially under previous coach Fandi Ahmad, they have concentrated on spending as little as possible and nurturing youth.

That's why the signing of Malaysian international striker Safee Sali came as such a surprise. Pelita Jaya have steered clear of high profile signings for several years.

But is that changing? This story suggests they will make a move for Sergio van Dijk from Adelaide United.

I wonder if this apparent spending surge is in response to the arrival of the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia?


Results 12/02

AFC Champions League Qualifier

Sriwijaya v Muang Thong United 2-2 (Keith Kayamba, Thierry Gathuessi; Datsakorn Thonglao, Teerasil Dangda) 12,000 Sriwijaya win 7-6 on pens

Sriwijaya play some team from the Arab world in a final play off next week. I would love it if they win and the arabs start whining about the match officials! For MTU a second straight defeat on pens in the qualifier.

Indonesia Super League

Persiba v Persipura 1-0 (Khairul Amri) 5,213

Liga Primer Indonesia

Batavia Union v Bandung 3-2 (Juan Cortez 2, M ; Lee Hendrie, Perry )
PSM v Real Mataram 1-1
Persema v Tangerang Wolves 2-1
Solo v Bogor Raya 1-0 (Dian Fachruddin)


Young Lions v SAFFC 0-2 (Fazrul Nawaz, Mislav Karoglan) 2,534

Malaysia Super League

Perlis v Terengganu 1-3
Kelantan v Johor FC 4-1
Selangor v KL 1-1
T Team v Harimau Muda 1-3
Felda United v Pahang 2-1
Perak v Negeri Sembilan 2-1
Sabah v Kedah 1-0

Safee Sali's last game for Selangor but they only managed a 1-1 against KL leaving them 10th. Kelantan and Perak share top spot with seven points from three games while Harimau Muda and Negeri Sembilan have six points.

Thai Premier League

Pattaya United v Bangkok Glass 2-1
Police United v TOT 2-1
BEC Tero v Buriram PEA 1-2
Sriracha v Samut Songkram 1-1

Opening day in TPL and surprise defeat for pre season favourites Bangkok Glass. Kengne Ludovick was among the scorers for Pattaya. Is it worth having a season though? Aren't Buriram PEA gonna win anyway?

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Lee Hendrie (Bandung)

Caught up with former England international Lee Hendrie this afternoon at the Batavia Union v Bandung Liga Primer Indonesia game. Pictures can be found on Asian Football Pictures of Lee in his new surroundings while a full interview will go on line sometime tomorrow. I'm shattered and if you fink I got nuffink else to do than ponse about on a bloody laptop well you're right.


Pakistan In Thailand

No, I'm not expanding coverage to include Pakistan, or even Pastikan, I just thought there were one or two interesting names in the Olympic Qualifier squad. They are currently in Thailand preparing ahead of their opening qualifier against Malaysia.

When was the last time Bradford Park Avenue had a player on international duty?

Pakistan U21 Team

Goal keepers
: Yousof Ejaz Butt (Birkerod IF Skjold, Denmark), Amir Gul (NBP), Muhammad Omar (KESC)

Defenders: Manzoor Ahmed (WAPDA), Alamgir Khan (Police), Ahsan Ullah (PEL), Obaid Majeed (KPT), Ansar Abbas (Army)

Midfielders: Faisal Iqbal (NBP), Syed Arif Hussain (WAPDA), Hussnain Abbas (PIA), Muhammad Tauseef (WAPDA), Muhammad Adil (KRL), Mahmood Khan (KRL), Irfan Khan (Bradford Park Avenue Association Football Club, England)

Strikers: Saddam Hussain (PIA), Fahad Ullah Khan (PTV), Jadeed Khan Pathan (WAPDA), Rizwan Asif (KRL), Kalim Ullah ( KRL)


Butler Adds Champion Stock

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then two time Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United should be feeling dead chuffed. Because BEC Tero are looking to recapture past glory and the step is packing their underachieving squad with former Muang Thong players.

But first coach Peter Butler, formerly of SAFFC, Persiba, Kelantan and Yangon United, had a bloody great hole to fill.

Out had gone the prolific striker Anon Sangsanoi, leading scorer three times in the previous four seasons in the TPL though surprisingly overlooked at international level. Ironically enough he moved to the champions but he was most definitely going against the flow.

Probably the biggest name to front up a BEC Tero is Teerathep Winothai. Hugely gifted, massively underperforming, Leesaw's career seems to have stalled after ending a spell in Lierse and he will be hoping to recapture his form of yore with the Fire Dragons. He started last season with Muang Thong United, got sent to BEC Tero and ended 2010 squabbling with a match official after seeing Thailand lose 2-0 to Indonesia at the AFF Cup.

Joining Teerathep up front is Ronnachai Rangsiyo. The 22 year old seems to have been around for ages having won the TPL in 2007 for a team called PEA (message to Buriram PEA, this was in the Time of Darkness or Before Newin) before winning again with Muang Thong. But like Leesaw he has suffered from Muang Thong's strength and was often a periphery figure at the club.

Sam, as he is known, was involved in the 2008 AFF Cup and was taken to Jakarta last year but he has fallen behind the likes of Teersil Dangda and Sarayut Chaimakdee in the national team.

Other players from Muang Thong to have moved to BEC Tero include Thanongsak Panpipat, Nobuyuki Zaizen, Jetsada Jitsawad, Phaitoon Nontadee and Piyachat Tamaphan.

All eyes will be on Ronnachai and Teerathep though in a notoriously low scoring league and you can be sure national coach Bryan Robson will be watching their progress with interest in the coming season.

The TPL kicks off today with BEC Tero hosting Ronnachai's former club Buriram PEA in what is certain to be an early examination of Butler's new charges with PEA widely tipped to lift the title this season.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Oh When The Saints!

The mighty St George also kick off the New South Wales Super League, which is one division below the NSW Premier League (they do things arse over tit down under) with an away game at the ludicrously named West Sydney Berries. Berries?

Their first home game is against Fraser Park at the St George Stadium next Sunday.

I know I've been gone a fair while, 20 years, but why the hell are Rockdale City Suns in the league above St George and where is the Ilinden Sports Centre?

Back in my day blah blah


Persib Eye New Centre Backs

With Nova Arianto already reported to have signed for Semarang United it seems coach Daniel Roekito still hasn't finished tinkering with his defence. This story links Persib with Herman Abanda and Persiba's stopper Mijo Dadic.

Abanda started the season with Persema in the Indonesia Super League but once they withdrew he had problems with his work permit and remains clubless. He has though been on the Persib radar for a while.

Dadic has been a pillar at the back for Persiba for a couple of seasons now but he tells me he is under contract until 31 st September


King Faisal Babes

Yeah, I know, it sounds like a hareem. But is there a football club by that name? Reading through Thai Fussball where they have an excellent page on the transfer market, it looks like Buriram PEA have signed Frank Aceampong from the aforementioned King Faisal Babes.

The same website also reported a couple of days ago that Osotspa's Phaitoon Thiabma had signed for Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United but his name seems to have been removed since then.

Phaitoon is a familiar name to many Indonesians after a couple of spells with Persijap.

Back to King Faisal Babes. Wonder what their nickname is? Perhaps Andy Gray is head coach there and Richard Keys chief groundsman? How many cups have they won?

UPDATE - apparently it's a real club! King Faisal Babes...Samuel Kuffor, who was with FC Bayern when I was watching them, played for them


Results 10/02

Indonesia Super League

Arema v Persiwa 4-0 (M Ridhuan, Bustomi, Ahmad Amiruddin 2) 24,452
Persisam v PSPS 2-0 (Julio Lopez, Ahmad Sambiring) 9,381
Bontang v Persija 1-3 (Dani Marfelous; Oliver Makor 2, M Ilham) 6,200

1 - Persipura 13 10 2 1 39-10 32
2 - Arema 14 7 5 2 25-9 26
3 - Persija 13 8 2 3 20-9 26
4 - Semen Padang 14 7 5 2 21-15


Big Weekend In South East Asian Football

Cracking weekend of fixtures lined up and it took much soul searching before I finally decided which game I wanted to see.

The biggie is of course in the AFC Champions League play off when Sriwijaya host Muang Thong United in Palembang which I previewed the other day in The Jakarta Globe. Most weeks it's a no brainer and indeed until about three weeks ago I was set fair for South Sumatra.

The SLeague also kicks off with another exciting game between SAFFC and Young Lions. Richard Bok had rebuilt the Warriors after a rare barren season in 2010 with a mixture of youth and experience while Young Lions are being rebranded with the aim of creating an atmosphere in a league where even the mosquitos stay home, put off by the lack or warm blood in the stands.

The Thai Premier League kicks off using the latest fixture list but I'm so confused which is the latest, absolute latest, swear there will be no more or you may cut my head off and vomit down my neck, last one that I've all but given up.

Oh yeah, and the third round of fixtures in the Malaysian Super League.

But once I heard that a former England international would be playing in Indonesia there could only be one game in it for me. Bandung maybe bottom of the table but they do boast the only ex England international to play in Indonesia, at least that I'm aware of.

So it's Batavia Union against Bandung in the rebel Liga Primer Indonesia for me tomorrow. But this being Indonesia, as of yesterday there was confusion as to where the game would be played. Batavia Union were saying either Kuningan or Bekasi, Bandung were saying Kuningan and the whole world on Twitter were saying Bekasi.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Let The Nonsense Increase!

There have been some pretty loony rumours running round Indonesia ever since the Liga Primer Indonesia got off the ground. This player is gonna sign, that world cup coach is gonna sign. All usually ends in nowt.

Now we have perhaps the rumour to end all rumours.

Remember Orson Wells giving Americans the willies over War of the Worlds? This is even dafter.

Minangkabau are said to be interested in signing Dennis Bergkamp the former Arsenal and Ajax legend. Yep, the non flying Dutchman himself who drove round Europe to play for Arsenal rather than fly with his team mates, is being the offered the chance to turn his back on Ajax and put his boots on for Minangkabau in the LPI.

Where every away game is by air!

Like, umm, yeah.


SLeague Opener

SINGAPORE, 10 February 2011: The Great Eastern – YEO’S S.League kicks off this Saturday, 12 February and for the first time in opening game history, Courts Young Lions and SAFFC will take to the centre circle at 5pm.

Both sides played to a 7-goal thriller in two of their last three encounters in the S.League including a remarkable 4-3 comeback victory by the Young Lions after trailing 1-3 to the Warriors at half-time in April last year. As we usher in the 16th season of the S.League, fans will be treated to performances by Natri Bibi, top prize winner of the H-TWO-O S.League Ultimate Move singing segment. Alongside her are singer-song writers, Deborah Tan and Shahran Sohaib, top prize winner and first runner-up respectively in the song writing segment.

The trio will be performing 2 songs entitled “Melodies of Hope” and “Never Give Up” at the Jalan Besar Stadium on the opening match day. The songs were was specially composed at this year’s event to signify H-TWO-O partnership with S.League and to cheer on the S.League teams to deliver another great season.

Into its 8th year as co-title sponsors of S.League, YEO’S has continued with its concerted efforts to bring football in a fun way at the community level with events such as the annual H-TWO-O S.League Ultimate Move competition.

Upon the official launch of the 2 songs, the public can download the songs from from 1st March 2011.

Along with YEO’S, co-title sponsors Great Eastern is also looking forward to the 2011 S.League season.

‘Great Eastern is delighted to once again be involved with S League. At Great Eastern, we believe in promoting healthy lifestyle and building meaningful relationships. This sponsorship is a good platform for us to promote these two pillars of our Making Life Great philosophy and support a sport which is popular with the public. We would like to encourage fans to attend more 'live' matches to spur the players and create a wonderful atmosphere at the stadiums.’ Miss Tan Seck Geok, Head, Group Corporate Communications.

This year will also see the introduction of sports apparel company Sports WAGA Marketing Pte. Ltd*. as the official apparel sponsor for S.League referees over a period of two years.

S.League action will continue next week as newly named Hougang United take on Woodlands Wellington at the Hougang Stadium on Monday, February 14. Meanwhile, Tanjong Pagar United play their first S.League match in six years in an eagerly anticipated encounter against Albirex Niigata on 16 February at the Jurong East stadium.

COMMENT - sing up lads! The referee's a WAGA!

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