Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Indonesian FA Offer No Help To Clubs In Asian Battles

The Indonesian FA (PSSI) are used to being under fire. But amid the turmoil over renegade leagues, accusations of lying to FIFA and a boss with experience of porridge the fate of Indonesia's teams in the ACL and AFC Cup have been forgotten.

OK, strictly speaking drawing up the fixture list ain't their responsibility, it's done by the league body, the nominally independent Liga Indonesia. But as the body that does deal with AFC they should have been aware of potential difficulties their teams were likely to face.

Arema are the current Indonesia Super League champions and they somehow have managed to scrape enough money together to fly to Japan last week for their opening game. Following the long haul, bus to Surabaya, flight to Japan via some place transit and then back again, they had to then fly straight to Papua for their two games there.

Yesterday they played Persipura and got thumped 6-1. Thursday they play Persiwa in Wamena. Why the hell they couldn't have been given a couple of gentler ISLgames after long haul away games is a question only them what draws up the fixtures can answer. For sure the PSSI would have known the dates of ACL games. The AFC, for all its sins, does plan in advance and the dates were made known long ago.

Sriwijaya are looking at a third consecutive season in continetal club football and they know what to expect. They also know they can't rely on their own federation to help them none. So, after overcoming Muang Thong United in the ACL Qualifier on penalties they had a game against some Arab team called Al summat seven days later, also in Palembang.

To prepare for this game the ISL had arranged a game for them against Persijap. To be played under the 3.30 sun. Smart move eh?

As for Persipura, they went to Hong Kong and got a credible 1-1 draw with South China in the AFC Cup. But as of now they are still unclear where they will be playing their home games. Their preferred option is their own Mandela Stadium in Jayapura and last season it was renovated with Asian club football in mind.

But Jayapura is a bloody long way from anywhere. The nearest Indonesian international airport with a reasonable service there would be Surabaya and even from there any visiting team would be looking at one or perhaps two transit stops.

They have been offered Bung Karno in Jakarta but are still hoping they can use their own stadium. As far as I know this still hasn't been finalised.

With friends like this etc.

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