Friday, December 04, 2015


The Persib Exodus Continues

It wasn't that long ago everything was rosy (albeit a blue tinted rose) in the Persib garden. Winners of the Indonesia Super League 2014 and the President Cup 2015 they seemed set fair to dominate what exists of football in Indonesia for years to come.

The last few weeks have seen that idea fall apart, something I touched upon last month.

Inspirational defender Vladimir Vujovic Mali midfielder Makan Konate decided not to stick around with the latter joining Rahmad Darmawan on the north east coast of Malaysia at T Team. Rumours abound Vujovic could be heading to either Malaysia or the UAE.  Midfielder Firman Utina has also said he would be taking a rest for a while after a disappointing Sudirman Cup which saw Persib fail to qualify from the group stage.

And on loan midfielder/forward Zulham Zamrun was injured ahead of the Sudirman Cup causing him to miss the next few months.

The latest to join the exodus is Montenegran striker Ilija Spasojevic. After a successful time in Indonesia with clubs like PSM, Spaso has decided enough is enough with the inertia that has followed FIFA's suspension of the PSSI and signed for Melaka United in Malaysia's second tier Premier League.

We have seen this before. Most Indonesian clubs lack the vision and foresight to plan for the future and this time Persib, perhaps the only club to look beyond this evening, have now been hampered in their ability to challenge on a regular basis by the cancellation of competitive football while the PSSI, FIFA and the government decide what to do next.

Foreign players always have the option of looking to pastures new and that is exactly what Makan and Spaso have done and rumours persist Vujovic too will be playing overseas next year. Indonesian players have that option and the likes of Firman Utina would surely have some interest if he was interested.

Instead of established clubs like Persib developing as football clubs we have new kids on the block like PS TNI coming along and I'm sorry but that is not in the long term interests of football.

Melaka United had fallen on hard times in recent years but saw a revival in fortunes in the season just gone, returning to the Premier League after winning a play off in front of 35,000 fans. Persib's loss for sure but you can not argue Malaysian football promises to be very interesting next season.

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