Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Indonesia's Classico

A somewhat unfortunate banner to show during Classico!
This weekend sees Persija host Persib, one of Indonesia's biggest games along with Persebaya and Arema.

Sriwijaya and Persipura maybe sharing the trophies between them but these two encapsulate the power and passion of the game here.

It's a game when away fans don't travel. If they do they keep schtum and try to blend in but the old 'got the time mate' ploy so beloved of northerners back in the day in England comes into play with lads on edge trying to tap the unwary.

Persib fans who made it to the game last year were attacked and killed despite not wearing colours. Apparently one was attacked because he didn't cheer loudly enough when Persija scored!

It is beauty and the beast of local football and despite the best efforts on both sides nothing can be done to stem the hatred and undercurrent of violence always threatening beneath the surface. Catch a taste of the atmosphere on Jakarta Casual TV

One year we made the mistake of driving past Siliwangi Stadium in a Jakarta registered car on match day. The car was punched and we were roundly abused in teens' best pre-pubescent screams until we opened the window and showed we were just dumb foreigners and not Persija's finest on a mission.

There has been no confirmation whether this weekend's game will allow fans to watch or not. If they are Persija are planning displays to commemorate Jakarta's birthday but that is up in the air at the moment.

Persija have history on their side in their clashes:

P 31 W 15 D 10 L 6 F 48 A 31

Current form they are looking good as well having been bottom of the ISL at the mid season break. Unbeaten since then they have climbed the table and now sit 10th, 18 points behind 3rd place Persib. Indeed had Maung Bandung performed better on their travels we would perhaps have seen a more concerted title push from them but just wins tells its own story.

As ever there are several intriguing sub plots t
o this most volatile of games but if the game does allow fans and you are free on Saturday afternoon, if they don't postpone it, you owe it to yourself to get down there!

For a bit of background on the Persija and Persib rivalry, with a definite Persija twist, check out this video with a Persija fan on Jakarta Casual TV

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