Tuesday, March 26, 2013


AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers

Jordan v Singapore 4-0 2,004
Thailand v Kuwait 1-3 (Chanathip) 15,000
Lebanon v Thailand 5-2 (Thitiphan 2) 7,000
Iraq v Indonesia 1-0 3,600
Indonesia v Saudi Arabia 1-2 (Boas Solossa) 75,000
Qatar v Malaysia 2-0 7,320
Malaysia v Yemen 2-1 (Azamuddin, Khryil Muhyeem) 80,000

Well there is an impressive start to the Asian Cup qualifiers for the local nations. If I include Vietnam they also lost both their opening games as well.

All that investment into local football, all that professional management, all them foreign clubs coming here to play friendlies and raise the profile; there is the result. Out of seven games only one has been won!

It is fair to say, and I don't think I will be going out on a limb here, no ASEAN team will qualify for Australia in 2015.

With the exception of Malaysia no team has even garnered a single point.

Big crowds in Malaysia and Indonesia; in Indonesia the home support chucked plastic water bottles at the handful of visiting Saudi fans amid reports of slack security. Nothing new there, similar happened when they met n the 2007 Asian Cup proper.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Tanjong Pagar Flying High

The SLeague has been the daftest, most insane, nuttiest and most unpredictable league in the region over the last few years and this year is proving to be no exception. The top of the table reads like the bottom would have done a few years back with clubs like Tanjong Pagar and Balestier Khalsa usurping the chillied crab cart.

Albirex Niigata have come out of the blocks flying, five wins from five and while some might worry about a powder puff strike force that has scored just seven goals this season only second placed Tampines Rovers have conceded less.

I'm loving the fact Tanjong Pagar are holding their own.They came back to the league a couple of years back as whipping boys but hidden amid the heavy defeats were some impreesive wins and performances, often against the 'bigger' teams. They have been doing a lot of work off the field to go in tandem with the upturn on it so good to see them getting their rewards.

A 6-1 win away to the once formidable Warriors is a case in point. Under their old moniker of SAFFC they went yonks unbeaten at home and in this game even managed to take a 1-0 lead on 10'. Tanjong Pagar responded with four goals in 19 minutes, adding two more in the second half to blow The warriors away and awaken people to their potential

1 - Albirex Niigata 5 5 0 0 7-2 15
2 - Tampines Rovers 3 3 0 0 9-1 9
3 - Tanjong Pagar 4 2 1 1 10-6 6
4 - Balestier Khalsa 4 2 0 2 4-6 6


Deltras Derby Delayed

The tasty East Java derby between Persebaya (Divisi Utama) and Deltras has been put back yet again. It's latest date is 6 April. But no one knows where!

The game was originally slated to be played at Deltras Stadium in Sidoarjo, a practical suburb of Surabaya but the local police weren't too keen on the idea of thousands of Persebaya fans making the short journey to their delightful town.

Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang was next mooted but Persebaya nixed that idea; they are less than popular in that town at the best of times.

Deltras are saying they don't care where the game is held as long as it is in East Java; anything else would quite naturally cost an arm and a leg in travel and other assorted costs.


Indonesia v Saudi Arabia Tickets

There seems to be a renewed fervour towards the national team with large crowds watching the training sessions outside the Bung Karno and some 70,000 tickets will go on sale later this week for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia

Ticket Prices (10,000 IDR = approx 1USD)

VVIP - 1,000,000 IDR
VIP - 500,000 IDR
Category 1 - 200,000 IDR
Category 2 - 100,000 IDR
Category 3 - 50,000 IDR


Bye Bye IPL

So we are coming to the end of the most tedious, drawn out affair in recent years. I am not talking about Lindsay Lohan drinking two cans of fizzy pop and calling herself a pisshead but the Indonesia Premier League.

The first season they promised to change the game and they sure managed that by stopping at the half way point. The next season they went the whole hog with Semen Padang champions.

The IPL remember was the league where salaries would be guaranteed by the league. And people fell for it!

Will they finish the season this time? What's the point? The league is a dead man walking and always has been.

Under the newly agreed format a new league, another one, will begin next season with 22 teams; 18 from the Indonesia Super League and the top four from the IPL.

Teams like Arema IPL, Persija IPl and Persebaya IPL won't be admitted to the new set up because they already exist so we are looking at Semen Padang, PSM and two others. Another reports suggests Persiba Bantul, Persijap, Semen Padang and Persiraja though I find it hard to believe there will be no PSM in any future new league.

The IPL teams are of course not happy but tough. They backed the wrong horse. Clubs like Pro Duta and PSLS were never going to become household names and will have to start again from scratch, working their way up through the leagues.

The IPL bites the dust, a few grown mens vanity dashed on the rocks of reality and the apathy of the football public.


Form An Orderly Queue

Now it looks like Argentine coach Manuel Blanco wants to take PSSI to FIFA over his contract. He's only been here a few weeks, not long enough to start on a second tube of tooth paste, after somewhat surprisingly being brought in to replace Nil Maizer.

The current PSSI mob haven't been able to do much with the national team. When they took over they sacked Alfred Riedl, they said they couldn't find his contract, brought in Wim Rijsbergen, ignored him, appoined Maizer, brought in some guy called Charbonnier, ignored him, brought back Maizer, brought in Blanco then decided to make Blanco Technical Director!

Keeping up so  far?

Now it appears with Indonesia due to host Saudi Arabia this weekend in an Asian Cup Qualifier they will have two coaches; Rahmad Darmawan and Jacksen F Tiago.

Perhaps being coaches familiar to Indonesian officials they may be allowed to do the job the way they see fit, not like these pesky foreigners with their ideas of discipline and responsibility.


They Think It's All Over...But Is It?

Sunday's extraordinary congress in Jakarta that was hailed as a success by Indonesian soccer chiefs involved illegal practices and should be reconvened, a sacked official said on Wednesday. 

A peace deal to end a lengthy power struggle for control of Indonesian soccer looked to have been agreed with rival factions saying they would unite leagues and national teams to work as one in order to avoid a FIFA ban. 

But former Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) member Farid Rahman said the meeting had not followed agreed procedure signed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the body and the rival Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI) and witnessed by FIFA. 

Rahman and five of his colleagues left Sunday's meeting after attempts were made by PSSI chairman Djohar Arifin Husein to add further points to the agenda after the agreed matters had been discussed. 

"The agenda in the booklet is different from the agenda agreed in the MoU. It is not legal," Rahman told Reuters via telephone. "It is a mess, embarrassing for Indonesia."   

Sunday's meeting at a luxury hotel was marred by jostling and shouting with almost 500 police deployed to help bring to an end the messy conflict that has seen the soccer-obsessed country hit new lows in international competition. 
The meeting was attended by observers from FIFA and Rahman urged them to investigate his claims at the world governing body's two-day executive committee meeting starting on Wednesday in Switzerland. 

"FIFA has an executive committee meeting. They have made their report. But the six of us who stepped out of the meeting also made a report of the congress," Rahman said, also querying the validity of the appointment of the new PSSI general secretary Hadiyandra. 

Rahman has written to FIFA on behalf of the six members — other are Bob Hippy, Mawardy Nurin, Sihar Sitorus, Tudy Dau, Widodo Santoso — asking what they planned to do about what he said was a violation of statutes. 
Rahman said the six had been fired for walking out of the congress but he felt that their departure was necessary to avoid a possible FIFA ban, a frequently suggested threat. 

"We stepped out because we wanted to save Indonesian football from a ban," Rahman added. "We are happy that Indonesia is not going to be suspended but we think they should redo it [the congress]."


COMMENT - love the headline in the link. If FIFA were to look into wrongdoings in Indonesia they would never organise a World Cup for another 20 years!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Persija Looking For New Coach

After a truly woeful start to the season for Persija which sees them bottom of the Indonesia Super League coach Iwan Setiawan has stepped down and the hunt is on for his replacement.

Names in the hat include former coach Benny Dollo, Bambang Nurdiansyah, Carlos de Mello and Gomez de Oliveria according to a guy from the Persija fan club!

That's not as daft as it sounds. Most clubs here don't have any kind of media section and rely on their supporters to disseminate information!


Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Indonesia Football

The Indonesian Football Association may have dodged FIFA reprobation following an uncharacteristically cordial and productive extraordinary congress on Sunday that saw the body address many of the ills afflicting the domestic game. 

The extraordinary congress agreed on revisions to statutes governing the association known as PSSI, and an accord on reunification of the nation’s two professional leagues was reached. 

PSSI says the changes bring the association in compliance with FIFA mandates. World football’s governing body had threatened sanctions if Indonesian football’s feuding factions could not resolve their various disputes. 

The Indonesia Super League and Indonesia Premier League will be merged under the ISL’s administrator, Liga Indonesia. 

Two other issues raised by FIFA were settled prior to the extraordinary congress. 

“It’s a good result for Indonesian football. We have agreed on two important agendas. We made revisions to the PSSI statutes and FIFA gave its approval. Indonesia will be free from FIFA’s sanction,” PSSI chairman Djohar Arifin told reporters. 

“The reunification of professional leagues will be implemented in 2014 and for the time being, both leagues will run separately.” 

One of the most significant PSSI statute revisions concerned the new composition of its Executive Committee. The federation will have an expanded 15-member Executive Committee, comprised of one chairman, two vice chairmen and 12 members. Previously there were 11 members, including one chairman and one vice chairman. 

Concerning reunification, both ISL and IPL organizers — Liga Indonesia and Liga Prima Indonesia Sportindo, respectively — presented proposals and road maps for the leagues’ merger. PSSI members on Sunday voted for Liga Indonesia’s proposal. 

With the decision, there will be 22 teams in the top-tier league next season, according to Joko Driyono, chief executive of Liga Indonesia. 

“The top-tier league will be comprised of 18 ISL clubs and four IPL clubs next season. In November, we will hold an assessment according to the AFC Pro-League requirements,” Joko said. 

The meeting was marred by incident when six Executive Committee members walked out as committee member La Nyalla Mattalittis tried to push for a more ambitious agenda. The congress ultimately did not stray from its original agenda. 

“We walked out of the meeting because it’s clear that FIFA only pushed for four points in its letter. We just want to play by the rules,” said Farid Rahman, one of the six. 

The meeting concluded with the selection of the new-look Executive Committee’s four new members — Zufadli, Djamal Aziz, La Siya and Hardi Hasan — to fill out the 15-member body. La Nyalla was also appointed as new vice chairman. 

While PSSI is claiming success following Sunday’s meeting, FIFA will have the final word. The congress and its results will be discussed at the next FIFA Executive Committee meeting on April 20.

SOURCE - The Jakarta Globe

COMMENT - is it over? Who knows. But I do know this. The last couple of years of division and nonsense have been a big waste of time and cash; cash that could have been better spent on developing the grass roots of the game and players' salaries. Anybody remember Diego Mendieta?

The vanities of them involved have no limit and it remains to be seen whether or not they can work in tandem for the benefit of, um, you know...

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Van Dijk Hits Ground Running

It took him long enough to get here but now he is Sergio Van Dijk seems to be loving the football in Indonesia.

He has played 6 games for Persib, starting five of them, and found the net six times alongside his new strike partner Kenji Adichihara.

He is now in training with the national team ahead of the Saudi Arabia next weekend when he will be hoping to continue his fine start to life in Indonesia


Tanjong Pagar Announce Sponsorship

SINGAPORE — Tanjong Pagar United’s strong start to the 2013 Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League season has received another lift.
Second in the league after two wins and a draw, the Jaguars now celebrate a financial boost with local food and beverage company Field Catering & Supplies stumping up a one-year sponsorship deal.
The deal, which sources put at S$100,000, will see the club’s jerseys emblazoned with SINGA, the brand name of Field Catering’s newly-introduced energy drink.
This is Field Catering’s second association with the Jaguars, having been their club sponsor when the club entered the S-League in its inaugural season in 1996 as Tiong Bahru United FC.
The company has also, since 2003, been a sponsor for the S-League with the distribution of Polar Natural Mineral Water.
“We have chosen the Jaguars … because of our good relations and our early ties with the club ... We remain committed to grow with Singapore football and we foresee this will be a great partnership for a long time,” said Chew Thye Chuan, Managing Director of Field Catering & Supplies.
S-League Chief Executive Officer Lim Chin added: “They are calling it a French Revolution at Tanjong Pagar, good attendance at their matches, a fiery coach and players who are motivated.
“From an able chairman to a very committed management committee, a good general manager and all things gelling together, things are certainly happening for the club.”
Tanjong Pagar’s positive start to the season prompted Monsef Zerka, the S-League’s joint-leading scorer this season with four goals alongside team-mate Kamel Ramdani and Brunei DPMM’s Shahrazen Said, to want to commit his long-term future to the Queenstown-based club.
“My team-mates are real good guys ... We have a winning mentality and I’m sure the fans, management and sponsors appreciate that,” said the 31-year-old Moroccan. 
COMMENT - this is the type of story I want to see more of from Singapore. Good to see Tanjong Pagar pushing the envelope. It is also good to see the Jaguars starting the season well. They took a punt rejoining the league a couple of years back at a time when fans and clubs were deserting in droves.


Mixed Week In AFC Cup For Indonesian Teams

It’s been a mixed start to life in the AFC Cup, Asia’s second tier cup competition, for Indonesia’s representatives Semen Padang and Persibo Bojonegoro.

Semen Padang, who won the Indonesia Premier League in 2012, have been drawn in Group E alongside Kitchee (Hong Kong), Churchill Brothers (India) and The Warriors (Singapore – formerly known as Singapore Armed Forces)and they have begun the campaign positively.

Their first tie saw them up against Warriors at the H Agus Salim Stadium in Padang and they comfortably overcame their Singaporean opponents 3-1. Their prolific Liberian striker Edward Wilson Junior had given them a lead on 19 minutes before Vendry Moro doubled it on the half hour mark.

In many cases the group stage games attract low crowds as Asian club football has yet to really make any inroads domestically in a number of markets but the Padang fans turned out in force for this game, just shy of 10,000, and despite Inui Tatsuro pulling a goal back for the Warriors just before half time the home support saw a late third by substitute Nur Iskander to boost their goal difference.

Until a couple of seasons ago Warriors were the dominant force in Singapore but they are very much a team in transition now with only Daniel Bennett remaining from those heady days. But you can only play what is in front of you and Padang would have been happy with the result coming as it did at the start of the season for them.

Next up they travelled to Pune in India to take on Churchill Brothers. A long, daunting trip perhaps and a tricky one for Indonesian clubs in the past who have certainly struggled on the road in this competition. But Semen Padang, able to call on the vast experience of former international Elie Aiboy, again turned in a very professional performance managing to return home with a point.

The home team had taken the lead on 21 minutes through Sunil Chhetri but the side from West Sumatra responded well with man of the match Hendra Adi Bayauw equalizing on 36 minutes and M Rizal giving them lead just moments before half time.

Bikramajit Singh pulled level for the home team 12 minutes into the second half but Semen Padang held on for a useful point.

What was more remarkable about their performance was it had been achieved without Wilson and their other foreign players.

The result puts Semen Padang second in the group on four points, two behind Kitchee who have a 100% record having defeated Churchill Borthers (3-0) and Warriors (4-2) in their opening games setting up very nicely the meeting in Hong Kong on 2nd April between the two teams.

While Semen Padang can look back on a couple of impressive results Persibo Bojonegoro, who won the Indonesia Cup last season, will be having very different emotions.

They lost their opening group game 3-0 away to Yangon United and it is perhaps an indication of how things can get in Indonesia when they were only able to select a single substitute for the game.

At least they felt they could draw some comfort from the knowledge they had their next two games, against New Radiant from the Maldives and Sunray Cave JC Sun Hei (Hong Kong) at home. Well, at the Manahan Stadium in Solo to be precise after the AFC deemed their own stadium not up to scratch.

The Maldives are best known as a string of islands in the Indian Ocean with clichéd sandy beaches, clear azure waters and a propensity to sink if global warming really takes a hold. They are not known for football.

This time Persibo were marginally better prepared than their debacle in Myanmar. At least they could have five players on the bench, two short of the regulation seven and one less than their visitors but nobody could have predicted what would have happened on the field.

Unlike the Semen Padang fans who turned out in large numbers for their home game, Persibo’s support preferred to stay home with just 700 fans in the stadium which was just as well. They were spared humiliation.

The visitors were 2-0 inside 34 minutes but they were just warming up. As the rain fell down in Solo at the start of the second half New Radiant went for the jugular scoring five goals in an electric 30 minute spell rounding the game off with a 7-0 massacre, Ashfaq Ali netting five of them.

Persibo’s sorry afternoon was complete when Edy Gunawan was red carded on 77 minutes.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out their campaign is over. They face Sun Hei in the next group stage game in Solo with the Hong Kong side also looking for their first point in the group. But Persibo need to make serious inroads into that goal difference that currently stands at minus 10 and that looks highly unlikely.

SOURCE - my Jakarta Globe column (not available on line)


Arema Out Of Pocket

Arema's game with Persib Bandung tomorrow has been postponed. The reason given is to allow Indonesia Super League players to join up with the national team training ahead of their Asian Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia next weekend.

Trouble is no one told Arema about it till they arrived in Bandung!

As you can imagine the club are well pissed and demanding someone somewhere refund their not insignificant expenses they have incurred on a wasted trip.

They say they are out of pocket to the tune of $21,000 after forking out on transport from Malang to Surabaya, flights from Surabaya and hotels in Bandung.

Some of the Arema players decided to put their unexpected freetime to good use. Rather than traipse round the factory outlets or queue for outrageously expensive brownies they turned up at the Arsenal Soccer School in Bandung to say hi.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Arema & Persib Among The Biggest In Asia

I have long talked about the sheer size of some Indonesian clubs. The likes of Persija, Persebaya, Persib and Arema have no idea how big they can be because they don't take on board that kind of thinking.

Teraktor TBZ have the largest average support in Asia with 58,077 apparently followed by Urawa Red Diamonds on 44,210. Three of the top six come from Iran.

In 7th place come Arema with an average attendance of 27,860 putting them 4,000 fans per game against the second biggest in South East Asia, Hai Phong in Vietnam. Arema are also ahead of Tokyo FC and Yokohama Marinos. Not bad for a provincial town with no international airport playing at a stadium miles outside the city.

Persib come 14th in the list. Ahead of the supposedly greatest sports city in the world, Melbourne Victory. Persib average 20,766 and that will increase when they move to their new stadium.

This is the potential of Indonesian football. The people. It's a shame those who run the game and the clubs don't share that view.



A Sorry Honour Roll


1 fan died at PSPS v Persepam Madura United
1 fan died at Persegres v Arema


1 fan died at Persebaya IPL v Persija IPL
3 fans died at Persija v Persib
5 Persebaya fans fell from roof of train
1 fan died at Sriwijaya v Persiba


1 fan died in trouble between Persebaya and Deltras
2 fans died at the SEA Games Final


3 Persib fans fell from the roof of a train
1 fans died after trouble between Persija and Persitara
1 fan died after falling from the stand Persik v Persib


1 Persija fan attacked and killed before Persija v Persipura


1 fan died at Persipura v Persiwa


1 fan died at Liga Indonesia final between Persija and Persipura


1 fan died at Kanjuruhan Stadium
1 fan died at Persekabpas v Arema


1 fan died at Persija v Persebaya at a pre season tournament
1 fan died at Persela v Persebaya


1 fan fell from the bus at ASEAN Cup Indonesia v Philippines
1 fan died at Persija v Semen Padang


1 PSIS fan died in Jakarta on the way home from a game in Bogor


6 PSIS fans died
3 Persebaya fans died


1 Persebaya fan died in Yogyakarta

This ain't about which club has been involved in the most incidents. It's about basic security. Over 1,200 security personnel were on duty today for the Bandung Derby between Pelita Bandung Raya and Persib. That is a lot of security.

Who allows these kids to climb on the roof of public transport? Whose job is it to stop them?

Why is there no proper segregation inside stadiums? Despite the large numbers of security people at most games I have been to it is the fans who police themselves, well the supporters club. I have seen them prevent incidents escalating and I have seen them try and ease traffic congestion after games.

Crowd control doesn't happen here.

It now appears a politician is taking an interest and he is to be commended for making a start. For too long Indonesian youths have been dying and nothing has been done beyond perhaps the police making the next home game played behind closed doors or in another city.

The details above come from today's edition of Top Skor. Fair play to them for doing the research and to the politician, Deddy Gumelar, for taking an interest in this sorry tale.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Persis Held At Home

This was hilarious. Madiun Putra took a surprise lead at Sriwedari Stadium against Persis Solo, a really well taken free kick from Sonny Kurniawan that Gareth Bale, if he stayed on his feet long enough, would have appreciated, sending the small number of visiting fans into raptures.

Moments later there was a penalty given after a Madium player went flying in on a Persis player who is now having breakfast on the International Space Station.

The ref gave a pen because it was a pen. Madiun walked off the field for a while, had a huddle then went back and allowed their keeper to face the pen. It was a poor effort but the keeper excelled himself by throwing himself over the ball!

Quality stuff from the country where everything that happens can never be made up!

The game ended 1-1 so I guess everyone went home happy.

By the way the game was played at Sriwedari because Manahan was used by Persija yesterday and will be again later in the week.

Odd but again I don't make these things up!


Better The Guarantee Of Rice Today Than The Promise Of Fish Tomorrow

If Pelita Bandung Raya were to be bought out by an Arab sheikh, appoint Jose Mourinho as coach and sign Gareth Bale, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo they would struggle to make an impact at the gate.

In recent years Pelita Jaya in the ISL and Bandung FC in the LPI have tried to muscle in on the city of Bandung and have not only failed to make an impact; they have failed to last.

Bandung is blue as is West Java. Persib blue. The whole bloody province with perhaps the odd pocket in places like Bekasi and Depok which are more Jakarta satellites than Sundanese homeland.

If I know this as an outsider then surely the locals must know it.

You don't pile into Newcastle or Barcelona and try and take on the local big boys without doing your homework, without spending massive amounts on marketing and without having your head seen to.

Pelita Jaya tried to play their home games in Soreang, Purwakarta and Karawang without creating any kind of lasting impression so it was little surprise when the owners decided to sell the club. What was a surprise was when it was announced they had been bought by Bandung Raya, a club playing so far down the Indonesian pyramid most had forgotten they were even a football club.

Pelita Bandung Raya showed signs of ambition. They brought in Simon McMenemy as coach and signed the likes of Nova Arianto, Mijo Dadic, Gaston Castano and Eka Ramdani.

But the fans weren't interested. The Bandung Raya support continued but the Pelita Jaya fans, attracted during their spell in Karawang, decided they weren't going to make the journey and the gate suffered. Games played at Soreang, a fine stadium which is far from the middle of nowhere, echoed to the shouts of the coaching staffs and players with never more than 1,500 attracted to the games.

The club drastically reduced ticket prices to no avail.

West Java is blue.

Following the 1-0 home defeat to Persita at the weekend coach Simon McMenemy has quit, tweeting that 'I'm a proud man so I will be the 1 to confirm that I will be leaving PBR, Results speak louder than developing young players, Disappointed'.

Two wins all season have seen Pelita Bandung Raya slip into the relegation zone, and their next home game sees them come up against Persib themselves.

There was a hint that all was not well within the club on Sunday when McMenemy tweeted 'trust is useless if it only goes one way'.

Building a team for the future is a job fraught with difficulties. Not every club is blessed with a generation like Beckham, Scholes, Giggs or Thomas, Rocastle, Merson.

Results are what keep coaches in a job, unless you are Arsene Wenger, and the potential glories of tomorrow carry no weight in a la la land where egos among the club management will always trump footballing decisions taken on the training field.

Such has it ever been here and so it will continue.

The question is how much longer can the football club last?


Did You Believe The Hype?

Back in 2010 during the ASEAN Football Federation many people started creaming themselves over a couple of bright young hopes; Irfan Bachdim and Okta Maniani. Indeed the hype was such there were people saying Okta, a pacy wide man, had the potential not just to be the best in Indonesia, he was good enough to play overseas.

Since that heady December Irfan has moved to Chonburi in the Thai Premier League and Okta has all but disappeared off the football map.

After last season with Persiram we are now well into the new Indonesia Super League season and Okta remains clubless.

Telling that none of the big clubs have taken a punt on the once promising one, he is now being overlooked by the national team; quite rightly considering he has no club.

While many raved about the he scored back in 2010 for Indonesia two other incidents stick in my mind. Once when he came on as a sub, to a roaring reception, he set off in the wrong direction and needed his team mates to tell him which way he should be facing.

The other was when he dared an audacious overhead a couple of yards from his own goal line and lost possession. He got a massive cheer from the crowded stadium but I don't think his team mates were so impressed.


Dead Indonesian Football Fans

An Arema fan was killed after disturbances following their game at . A few days later a PSPS fan died following more trouble that came when his team lost at home to Persepam.

I've lost count of how many supporters who have not returned from a football match in this country and no one does a thing.

Mind you recent disturbances in South Sumatra (between the police and military)and Sumba (where a mob killed a family of seven apparently over a land dispute) suggest there is a crisis in law and order in this country and to show you the pervading mentality an alleged gang leader who was recently arrested in Jakarta pointedly told the media he would not have his 'followers' take any action.

If you what some kind of rationale over this break down of law and order you have come to the wrong place. Did these incidents happen under the New Order regime of Suharto? Is it a result of greater de centralisation or symptomatic of a weak central government? Is it a legacy of a generation growing up disenfranchised , despite the vote, or the teething pains of a society still struggling to come to terms with independence and globalisation that is passing large numbers by?

Buggered if I know...


Chelsea Excited (Yawn) About Indonesia Trip

Indonesia’s Chelsea fans can expect to see “the strongest squad available” and “two to three new faces” when the Blues visit Jakarta for the last friendly match of the club’s preseason tour in July. 

Chelsea will follow on the heels of English Premier League foe Arsenal as the second big-time club from England’s top flight to play in the capital this year, with the match scheduled for July 25. 

Sponsored by lender Bank Negara Indonesia, the 2012 European Champions League winner will face the Indonesia All Stars, a team that will be selected by BNI customers via a poll starting today. 

“We are very pleased to announce this historic fixture — Chelsea’s first game in Indonesia,” club CEO Ron Gourlay told a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday. 

“We know there is huge support for the team in the country. The fan [base] here is enormous. A figure of over 2 million fans in Indonesia on our Facebook page demonstrates that, and we are delighted our supporters will have the chance to watch us play in Jakarta.” 

Gourlay first broke the news of Chelsea’s Jakarta visit on the club’s official website last month. 

“Our preseason preparations will be well underway by July 25 and we will be bringing the strongest squad available for the game against the Indonesia All Stars,” Gourlay said. “We expect to bring two to three new faces.” 

He also expressed Chelsea’s interest in opening a football academy in Indonesia. 

Felia Salim, BNI’s vice president director, said the bank was pleased to bring the London-based team to Indonesia earlier than its original plans for a 2015 visit. The lender has partnered with Chelsea on a program to co-brand debit, pre-paid and credit cards issued to Indonesian customers. 

“We had a previous talk with Chelsea that if we could achieve 25,000 BNI Chelsea payment cards per year after launching six months ago, we would be able to bring the team to Jakarta. Currently there are 106,000 cards in the market, so they decided to come earlier,” Felia said. 

Ticket information will be announced within the next 10 days by organizer MyEvents. 

National team coach Luis Manuel Blanco will take the managerial reigns for the Indonesia All Stars.

SOURCE - The Jakarta Globe

17/07 - Chelsea v Thai All Stars (Bangkok)
21/07 - Chelsea v Malaysia XI (KL)
25/07 - Chelsea v Indonesia All Stars (Jakarta)

Quite why they can't just play a local club side is beyond me. Are you telling me the Hong League is better than any in this region? If Arsenal can play Kitchee why can't they play Persija?


Persija Lack Vision

The Indonesia Super League table doesn't make pretty reading for fans of Persija Jakarta. Their team sits rooted firmly to the bottom with two wins a meagre return from their opening 11 games and last weekend saw a comprehensive 3-1 thrashing by their bitterest rivals Persib Bandung.

The defeat away to Bandung meant the feint ray of hope that followed the narrow 1-0 triumph of Persita Tangerang soon disapated and the club are facing some harsh decisions.

As one of the biggest clubs in the country Persija's attempts at cashing in on their name have come to zilch and it must have been painful for any beancounters within the football club to have seen how far Persib are ahead of them in this regard.

Advertising boards rimmed the pitch while the players' shirts were adorned with various other sponsors keen to be attached with the football club. And it's not just local state enterprises, there are a number of well known international brands. In fact at last count there is something like 22 sponsors paying for their name to be linked with Persib.

Persija's problems are more immediate. There has been talk of salaries going unpaid which has impacted their ability to move in the transfer market; iconic striker Bambang Pamungkas has yet to sign for the new season and is perhaps one reason why they have struggled to find the net on a consistent basis; just 11 games in those opening nine games while 17 have been shipped at the other end.

The team nicknamed Macan Kamayoran have struggled to find any kind of momentum or consistency this season and fans have been quick to blame their coach Iwan Setiawan but with the club starved of cash it seems they have been focussing their ire on the wrong target. Even a coach like Sir Alex Ferguson or Jose Mourinho would struggle to motivate players who worried about where their next pay packet would come from.

With a couple of home games on the horizon they would ordinarily be looking forward to perhaps an easier time on the pitch but here in Indonesia nothing is straightforward. Their regular stadium, Bung Karno, has been double booked, by a K pop concert, so not for the first time in recent years the team find themselves preparing for a home game in a different part of Java.

Given the dearth of stadiums in Indonesia's capital city, and again how they must secretly envy Persib who boast two they can choose from, Siliwangi and Si Jalak Harapat, with one more due to open later this year, if Bung Karno is unavailable Persija have to look further afield and given that they are none too popular in West Java that further afield usually involves flights and hotel accomodation; an unnecessary expense when funds are already tight.

This Sunday they will play their home game against Persela at the Manahan Stadium in Solo, Central Java. Over the years they have also used stadiums in Samarinda, Malang, Yogyakarta and Semarang so when it comes to playing at home away there is a certain amount of experience within the football club though it is perhaps an experience they could do without.

Such is the closeness of the table that a couple of wins on the road could well see Persija rise to the top half of the table and they perhaps will take comfort from the fact their opponents, Persela and Persegres, both have problems of their own.

Potential is a word often bandied around about Indonesian football and Persija without doubt are one of the clubs who do have potential. However it is far from being realised at the moment.

Persib have shown what can be done when it comes to attracting sponsors while Sriwijaya and Persipura have shown what consistency can do for a football club. And Arema have invested heavily in experience in a bid to get back among the honours.
But Persija keep fudging. There seems to be no plan at the club beyond getting to the next game and until they start to show some vision their future will continue to a fudge.

SOURCE - My Jakarta Globe column

Monday, March 04, 2013


Weekend Results 2-3/03

Indonesia Super League

Persita v PSPS 0-0 2,350
Persela v Persisam 1-1 (Zaenal Arifin; Bayu Gatra) 10,244
Persepam v Mitra Kukar 3-1 (Osas Marvelous 2, Ishak Djober; Setia Hadi) 14,000
Persiram v Persidafon 0-0 1,232
Persiwa v Persiba 2-0 (Camera Sekou 2) 4,375
Persib v Persija 3-1 (Kenji Adichihara, Sergio Van Dijk 2; Pedro Javier) 26,587
Persipura v Barito Putra 4-1 (Otavio Dutra 2, Bio Paulin, Lukas Mandowen; Coulibray) 23,133

A busy ISL weekend not short on upsets. What is no surprise is Persipura comfortably overcoming Barito Putra with the aid of a couple of pens by Dutra. The Black Pearls go top for the first time this season. Mitra Kukar could have gone top had they won on Madura but it was not to be as newly promoted Persepam, coached by the irrepressible Daniel Roekito, thumped them to continue their unbeaten home record.

The big game no doubt was at Jalak Harupat as Persib overcame Persija 3-1 with new signing Van Dijk continuing his fine start to life in Indonesia netting a brace. Persija, to add to their woes, had Fabiano sent off for a second red card, the challenge reckless rather than malicious and the back slapping that accompanied him off the field possibly helped keep the crowd calm.

1 - Persipura 9 6 3 0 20-4 21
2 - Arema 10 7 0 3 24-11 21
3 - Mitra Kukar 9 6 1 2 20-15 19
4 - Persisam 9 4 3 2 14-12 15

8 - Cristian Gonzales (Arema)
7 - Boas Solossa (Persipura), Alberto Goncalves (Arema), Djibril Coulibaly (Barito Putra)

Divisi Utama

Persid v Persebo 1-1 (Nurul Mauludi; Zul Asmi) 6,017
Perssin v Sumbawa Barat 4-1 (Syamsuddin, Bintang 2, Rizki; Feriansyah) 5,773
Persikabo v PSCS 1-1 (Mustopha Aji; Bienvenue Nnengue) 8,000
Madiun Putra v PSMP 2-1 (Ainun Hamesurogo 2; Supaham) 3,000

An East Java local derby saw a late equaliser by Mauludi to save the points for Persid Jember. Meanwhile it was 3rd against 2nd at Cibinong with honours shared. PSCS went top on goal difference of PSIS

Indonesia Premier League

Semen Padang v Persiba 2-1
Persema v Bontang 4-1
PSIR v Persebaya 0-0 12,500
Pro Duta v Arema 2-0
PSLS v Persija 3-3
Persiraja v Persijap 1-0
Persibo v PSM 2-0
Persepar v Perseman 0-2

Wow! A full set of fixtures in the IPL. Arema finally managed to play their first game of the season but lost. They had previously uniliaterally pulled out of their first two games claiming they weren't ready though an off field dispute did contribute to this. as ever! They forfeited their last game, away to Semen Padang, 3-0. Persema began a new era with new colours, new badge and a new nickname. Life without Irfan began well but it was Bontang they were playing and even at this stage they will evaluate their coach after losing their opening games conceding nine in the process.

Persebaya's notorious Bonek following made the shortish journey along the north coast of Java in their 000's, anywhere between 3 and 4,000, with some camping outside Rembang's 10,000 capacity stadium overnight.

Wins for Semen Padang and Perseman mean they currently share top spot.

Friday, March 01, 2013


Goals Galore In ISL

Indonesia Super League

Arema v Pelita Bandung Raya 4-2 (Alberto Goncalves 3, Cristian Gonzales; Gaston Castano, Dane Milavanovic) 20,498
Persegres v Sriwijaya 3-4 (Novriansyah, Faristian, Matsunaga; Tantan 3, Hilton) 9,756

Arema's win against PBR saw them climb to the top of the ISL after their 10th game. Gonzales and Goncalves now have 15 goals between them out of the 24 Arema have scored. However the 2009/2010 have played six games at home, 100% record, and have played two games more than their nearest rivals, Mitra Kukar and Persipura, who sit just two and three points behind them.

A couple of years back big things were expected of Tantan, then with Persitara. It didn't happen, so rarely does here, but a hat trick today for Sriwijaya was a reminder of what he could do. Remember, Persegres sacked their coach yesterday but it doesn't seem to have halted the malaise in their corner of East Java.

Sriwijaya's win takes them above Persegres to 6th in the table level on points with Persisam and Barito Putra but the Kalimantan teams have a better goal difference.

Divisi Utama

Persip v PSIS 1-1 (Patricio Jiminez; Emile Lingkers) 11,575
Persetema v Persiku 0-0 5,000


Crowd Trouble Just One More Woe

As if there aren't enough problems in Indonesian football the threat of crowd trouble is never far away.

Today's Pantura Derby between Persip and PSIS was marred by incidents involving rival supporters and saw visiting fans stuck outside the stadium two hours after the game had ended as home fans pelted them with rocks and the usual plastic bottles.

Over 11,500 attended the Divisi Utama game seeing it end 1-1.

Saturday's East Java derby between Deltras and Persebaya has been postponed due to fears of crowd trouble. Persebaya, in the Divisi Utama, may lack the numbers of the IPL version but the distance between the two rivals is paper thin and security officials, anticipating a large influx of the infamous Bonek decided it was better not to issue the necessary permits and call the game off.

It is hoped to reschedule the game for Kanjuruhan Stadium near Malang at a later date.

And finally Sunday's volatile clash between Persib and Persija will have spectators present but there won't be any away fans. That is any Persija fans who do make the journey won't be wearing club colours. They may also polish up on their Sundanese language skills!

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