Friday, October 14, 2011


Indonesian Season Postponed?

I think anybody who follows this blog on a regular basis will be current on what has happened in Indonesian football this year and certainly I have no intention of rehashing the year so far...again.

We've had the Liga Primer Indonesia start, go into a mid season break then end with a whimper, their slogan of Change The Game quietly shunted to one side when it was realised the only change was in the people running the game. The decisions they made were often as mystifying as those taken by the official league.

The General Manager of the LPI is under investigation for misuse of money, a story I am staying away from, relating to another position he held, while the grandiose promises made by the LPI have been shown up for what they were...piss and wind.

A new leadership took over the Football Association came in and promised to run things better but they have carried on in the manner of previous regimes. The top flight would have 32 teams, then 18 and then 24.

Relegated teams found themselves not relegated because they were too big to go down, teams kicked out last year 'cos they joined the LPI were allowed back in with the big boys and two teams who were in the second tier were allowed back in the top flight due to pressure from as yet unknown sponsors.

The season would start 8 October then 14 October then 15 October.

Three clubs have 'two owners' please don't ask, and in one case, Persija, the owner chosen by the PSSI has been rejected by fans and players.

Some fixtures were finally announced earlier this week and they showed the league would kick off tomorrow with a grand total of one game!

Now comes news the league maybe cancelled. A group of 14 clubs, I'm assuming they are the teams that ended last season's ISL (except bottom club Bontang) but I don't know for sure, are unhappy at the increase to 24 and have withdrawn from the competition with the first game tomorrow.

I promise you, Brian Glanville and David Conn would have a whale of a time writing about the chicanery that goes on in Indonesian football. I know I do!

They think they have it tough in Thailand with frequent fixture changes, in Malaysia where relegation issues are often not decided until a meeting after the season has ended and in Singapore where the powers that be do nothing to promote the game and nothing to make paying spectators feel welcome.

But Indonesia? Indonesia takes things to a whole new level. What happens here is revolutionary. And what is amazing is that it happens every year and every year sees something new and more spectacular than what has gone before. 2011 has been an incredible year in football here and well worthy of a book in its own right, which I may try to do at year end, and of course there are still two and a half months to go.

And don't forget the SEA Games disaster where the original stadium in Palembang was deemed not ready and the whole lot moved to Jakarta. And the coach who was fired 'cos no-one could find his contract.

I can't wait to find out what Indonesian football has up its sleeve next...

They said a week is a long time in politics. In football here much can happen in a day!

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