Monday, February 13, 2017
PSB Fans Rally To Clean Up Stadium
The football map has sure changed in the 11 years I have been doing Jakarta Casual. A league dominated by city/district football associations is slowly morphing into an all together more professional set up with private money funding a newer breed of club. Football has had to adapt to a number of structural changes most importantly the banning of tobacco sponsorship and the inability now of local governments to fund their local teams.
In 2006 Persik won the Liga Indonesia, their second title in a short period of time. PSIS, Persekabpas and Persimin all reached the play offs that season. Today both Persik and PSIS find themselves in Liga 2 but Persimin and Persekabpas?
Other teams from that season have also fallen on hard times. PSMS. Persitara. Persikota. PSDS. Persibom. PKT Bontang. Deltras. Persiter. Persiwa. Persigi. That's almost half the league clubs from 2006 suffering a fall from grace.
We may not like it but one reason for the rise and fall of football clubs is down to politics. Much depends on the support from the local politicians and if they have no interest in the game then the football club suffers. If they are passionate then the converse is true.
Over the last couple of weeks I have visited stadiums in Tangerang and Depok that have fallen on hard times. They have been allowed to go to waste through lack of investment. Another stadium suffering a similar fate has been the Pajajaran Stadium in Bogor. Home to PSB. To all intents and purposes PSB have failed to exist during the life time of Jakarta Casual. There has been the occasional appearance in the third or fourth tier but information is hard to find, The last time I recall them, or their stadium, being in the news was when former US president George W Bush landed on the pitch in a helicopter on his way to a meeting.
Football clubs belong to their community, at least they used to in England. They still do in Indonesia and as we have seen with the fans of Persebaya in recent years no matter the apathy among those who have the power to make decisions on the ground the football club remains in the hearts and minds of the supporters.
So it was last weekend when PSB fans gathered at their team's stadium to carry out some much needed repairs on their fading home ground. It is doubtful they achieved much tangible beyond picking up some rubbish but their efforts showed that for some at least the football club lives on. There may be a Persikabo but they belong to the district of Bogor, a wider geographical construct but for the people who gave up their Sunday to do their bit for their team there is only one team in Bogor.