Monday, October 07, 2013


Cilegon For Football

London, the capital city of England and all that, apparently has a population of in excess of 8 million people. Bangkok has a similar population, more if you add in the folks who live in the surrounding provinces like Pathum Thani and commute in.

Jakarta? Jakarta has more than 10 million people and is according to wiki the 13th largest city in the world.

Nope, I haven't given up on football to become a demographic scribbler!

The London Football Guide is a blog about London. And football. As it says on the tin.It details every game going on in the city from the Premier League right down through the leagues. And there are dozens. Absolutely dozens. The keen fan could go to a game seven days a week and I am sure there are those who do.

Bangkok has its own BKK Football Blog which looks at football. In Bangkok.Admittedly it also takes in football across the country but then when it started the Thai Premier League was much more Bangkok centric than it is now.

Despite being a far bigger city, Jakarta lacks its own football blog. Mainly because it lacks any football on a regular basis.

It also has a shocking lack of stadiums. Bung Karno, Lebak Bulus (due to be demolished), Soemenatri Brojonegoro, Tugu, Ciracas...that is pretty much it!

Last week there was a grand total of zero games in Indonesia's capital city.

OK we could say the Indonesia Super League is over but even if it was ongoing chances are the local team, Persija, would have been playing a home game some place else in Java.

The Persija in the Indonesia Premier League were eventually told to stop embarrassing themselves; their home games were also outside of Jakarta. And Persitara, about the only team to play regularly in the city, well, it is nigh on impossible to find out when they play until you see the result.

Which all goes to explain why I gave serious thought to spending yesterday afternoon in Cilegon. An industrial city big on steel, Cilegon sounds a bit like Middlesbrough without the grandiose Victorian buildings.

The Krakatau Steel Stadium was hosting Division Two games and I had the opportunity of catching two games at a new ground. PS West Jakarta in one game and Cilegon United in the second. Coached by Bambang Nurdiansyah no less.

I love my double headers, used to do plenty in England back in the day. Indeed, recently O dragged my hangover to Watford one afternoon and Northampton in the evening.

One wonderful day I managed Halifax, Rochdale and Port Vale on the same day!

But then I was young, single and foolish. Today, I am just foolish. Just as in Middlesbrough there is sod all to do for a young family so too Cilegon. Probably even less.

At the end of the day I could not subject them to a few hours savoring Cilegon's industrial delights. It just didn't seem fair. And then to get stuck on the toll road back home.

Going to football in Jakarta is no easy matter. Still, at least the AFC Under 19s kick off tomorrow in Jakarta. But have you seen them ticket prices?

Always thank God for jakartacasual.blogspot
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