Saturday, June 30, 2012


Results 28/06

Indonesia Super League

PSPS v Sriwijaya 1-0 (Zaenal Arif) 3,247
PSMS v PSAP 2-1 (Osas Marvellous, Affondi: Camera) 4,675

Ever since winning the ISL Sriwijaya have lost two on the spin.

Divisi Utama Play Offs

Persebaya v PSIM 1-2 (Richard Obiora; Emuile Linkers, Topas) 8,973
Barito Putra v Sumbawa Barat 1-1 (Nehemina Solossa; Saddam Hussein) 1,539

Well, that's PSIM through to the next round then after back to back wins in their play off games.


Results 2707

Indonesia Cup Semi Finals

Semen Padang v Persebaya 3-0
Persibo v PPSM 3-1

Semen Padang overcame a two goal deficit on their home ground to defeat Persebaya and reach the Indonesia Cup final, pn course for a double after winning the Indonesia Premier League earlier this month.

The final, which apparently will be held at Jalak harapat Stadium in Soreang pits two bright talents in Syamsul Arif of Persibo and Ferdinand Sinaga with the champions

Indonesia Super League

Pelita Jaya v Persidafon 1-1 John Tarkpor; Andri Ibo) 4,123
Persipura v Mitra Kukar 4-2 (Alberto Goncalves 3, Manu Wanggai; Jajang Maulyana) 15,263
Persiwa v Persisam 1-0 (Eddy Boakay) 11,415

Divisi Utama

Persita v Persiku 2-1
Persepam v PSBK 2-1

Thursday, June 28, 2012


PSIM v Persebaya 2-1

Yoi just have to admire the optimism that pervades in Indonesian football. No one has a real idea when any new season may start or what it will look like yet  both leagues carry on regardless.

This year’s rebel league is now hosting the Divisi Utama play offs for the right to play in next season’s Indonesia Super League. Two groups of four are fighting it out, literally, to be promoted.

Today saw the second round of games in Yogyakarta. Hosts PSIM defeated PS Sumbawa Barat 2-1 in their first game while Persebaya were thumped 5-1 by Barito Putra.

The pressure was evident on that first day with one ref reportedly being asked to be replaced and one coach, Persebaya’s Freddy Mulli, quitting after that defeat.

The game may have been played at Mandala Krida Stadium in Yogyakarta but otticially the hosts were the away team.

Given the way they were crushed in the first game it was a wonder any Persebaya fans made the journey at all bit a did and they kept up a noise all game.

The game itself? You know lah, typical Indonesian fare, all three goals came from dead balls, two penalties, plastic bottles were thrown, the ref was attacked and pushed by players from both teams and the sun shone.
Persebaya in truth should have won the game but the PSIM keeper put in a good shift.

Controversy was never far away. PSIM had appeals for apenalty turned down. Minutes later they were given a dodgy nne which the Persebaya players vehemently protested in the usual manner. The ire was futher increased when the keeper saved the penalty only for the ref to allow it to be taken again. PSIM scored second time around which I think was the idea anyway.

For all the pushing and shoving of the ref he seemed to take it in good spiriy. At least he didn’t book anyone.
Which contrasted nicely with when he awarded Persebaya a penalty of their very own. He sent the PSIM offender off. My picture on AsianFootball Pictures shows that it was a borderline call at best. Deserving of a red? Nope.

Second half was mostly Persebaya with Cucu Hidayat looking in good form but for all their possession they never really troubled the keeper again.

Players spent most of the game falling over for little apparent reason. The ref had lost the game as mini feuds erupted all over the bloody place including the PSIM bench where some geezer in a suit manhandled one of his coaching staff away from the match officials.

Like I said before. Just another Indonesian football match!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Results 26/6

Indonesia Super League

Persib v Deltras 3-1 (Budiawan, Radovic, Noh Alam Shah; Lancine Kone) 18,575

Controversy aplenty at Siliwangi Stadium. Persib striker Noh Alam Shah was felled in the area by Deltras keeper Herman Batak. Keeper claims he was caught in the throat, ref disagreed, Batak attacks ref, ref falls down, lots of arm waving, placcy bottles, always the placcy bottles, thrown on field, Persib sub keeper Jendri Pitoy races on to field to calm down Batak who leaves eventually.

Funnily enough the ref did not, I repeat, did not, change his mind. Radovic kept his cool and netted a retaken spot kick though the replacement keeper got close to it.

A word about Marcio Souza. And a positive one at that. laid on two goals in an unselfish display, gelling nicely with NA.

Divisi Utama Play Offs

Barito Putra v Persebaya 5-1 (Bienvenue Nnengue 2, Syiahful Nazar, nehemia Solossa, Sackie Teah Doe; Richard Obiora) 2,376

Malaysia Super League

Terengganu v Kelantan 2-2
Perak v T Team 3-2
Selangor v PKNS 1-0
Sabah v Kedah 1-0
Johor FC v KL 1-0
Felda United v Sarawak 0-1

Sounds like a thrilling north east derby in Terengganu. Kelantan champions elect?


SLeague Top Scorers

12 - Frederic Mendy (Home United)
9 - Mislav Karoglan (SAFFC)
8 - Shahrazan Said (DPMM), Shotaro Ihata (Home United), Jordan Webb (Hougang United, Aleksander Duric (Tampines Rovers)
6 - Jonathon Toto (Young Lions), Jamil Ali (Tampines Rovers), Takaya Kawanabe (Tanjong Pagar), Moon Soo Ho (Woodlands Wellington)


Malaysia's Busy Year

There has to be a reason why the Malaysia national team is doing so well these days. Could it be the regular exposure they get at international level perchance?

And next month they are pencilled in for a trip to Indonesia to take on the hosts as well as Everton and Galatasary. Oh, and some of their players will also be playing Arsenal, Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers.

29/02 v Philippines (Manila) 1-1
28/04 v Sri Lanka (Shah Alam) 6-0
01/06 v Philippines (Shah Alam) 0-0
08/06 v Singapore(Jalan Besar Stadium) 2-2
12/06 v Singapore (Shah Alam) 2-0


Results 25/06

Indonesia Super League

Persela v Persegres 6-2 (Jimmy Suparno 2, Mario Costas 3, Taufiq Kasrun; Warwan Sayadeh, Gaston Castano) 11,157

This was Persegres' sixth game without a win; their season really has gone tits up in recent weeks and the goals have been flooding in their net. The lost 4-1 to Mitra Kukar, 4-0 against Persisam, 5-1 at home to Sriwijaya and 2-0 against Persiba. Their 1-1 draw at Deltras suddenly makes the Deltras look bad!

Divisi Utama Play Offs

Persita v Persepam 2-0
Persiku v PSBK 0-2 (Perry Somah 2) 535

Indonesia Premier League

Persema v Persija

Game was called off 'cos Persema players on strike!


Persema Players Strike

Last night's Indonesia Premier League game between Persema and Persija never happened. The home team never bothered turning up, they're on strike because they haven't been paid for yonks so the visitors sat around the dug out for a while before returning to their hotel.

The game should be awarded to Persija 3-0 but who knows in la la land.

Another question is this. Should players who refuse to play for their club side be called up for the national team? Next month Indonesia will host the Java Cup which features the likes of Everton and Galatasary as well as Malaysia.

Should Persema players be called up for the game? Should the likes of Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan and Irfan Bachdim be allowed to represent their country?

Monday, June 25, 2012


Changing SLeague Perceptions

SINGAPORE - British sports marketing guru Patrick Nally said there is no reason why the S-League cannot be a winning proposition given the huge football following in Singapore.

He said the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) must realise they own the sport here and it is in their interest to find a way to unite the various communities who follow the S-League, English Premier League and other European football.

The Englishman said the Republic's five-million population is a good base to tap from and even if there are a million football fans, it is still a powerful audience to interest sponsors.

The key, he said, is having a person with the right sports business qualifications in place.

"The question is if all football fans in Singapore have been engaged in a single way," said Nally. 

"Do those who support the various leagues have a means of connection in a single community, whether through digital media or other medium? Probably not.

"My view is that the total community is quite a big audience, a powerful one in commercial terms. 

"If you can actually get access to that audience as a community, it can be very attractive.

"This is what I mean about understanding the dynamics and coming up with a concept that engages fans, has all the clubs working as one and coordinating anything that touches football here, including broadcasters and the media, because together they are an attractive proposition for sponsors. 

"The FAS must understand that everything football that comes into their market is their product and must be coordinated." 

Nally added that the right people must be in place to manage and market football here and get fans packing the stadiums, and the FAS can tap into FIFA's resources to build this pool of expertise.

"The person overseeing this aspect of football here should have a masters degree in sports marketing," he said. 

COMMENT - it's about overcoming a national psyche that says anything local is shite and anything from a former colonial power is brilliant. It's about overcome a society where status and success are inextricably intertwined, it's about being seen as successful through basking in the glow of other's success. Should be a doddle if they teach that on a sports marketing course. Its'about changing perceptions and yes, successful marketing can do that.


Everton & Galatasary On Their Way

Finally news is trickling out about Everton's proposed tour to Indonesia. There will be a Java Cup held in July, from 26-29, in Jakarta that will feature Everton and Galatasary. Apparently a press conference will be held on Wednesday giving more information.

This follows on from Queens Park Rangers visit on 23 when they play Persebaya in Surabaya.



Semen Padang Crowned IPL Champions

The Indonesia Premier League finally has a champion. After aborting halfway through last season and facing a players' strike this season for not paying salaries, Semen Padang were crowned champions. They defeated Persiraja 3-1 at the H Agus Salim Stadium in Padang yesterday in front of an estimated 23,000 fans.

It makes for a Sumatran double as Sriwijaya won the Indonesia Super League a few days earlier.

Two quick goals would have settled the nerves. First Ferdinand Sinaga on 23 minutes then the prolific Edward Wilson Junior two minutes later.

Wilson added a second seven minutes before the end before Erik Saputra pulled one back in injury time.

1 - Semen Padang 21 12 7 2 43-21 43

15 - Ferdinand Sinaga (Semen Padang)
13 - Edward Wilson Junior (Semen Padang)


Results 24/06

Indonesia Super League

Arema v Persiba 3-1 (Pierre Patrick Seme, M Ridhuan, Alain Nkong; Esteban) 29,271
Persija v Sriwijaya 3-0 (Pedro Javier, Rahmat Affandi 2) 14,375
PSPS v Persiram 2-1 (April Hadi, Zaenal Arif; JP Boumsong) 875

Persija inflicted Sriwijaya's fourth defeat of the season in an interesting game yesterday. Plenty of possession from the champions but the home team defended excellently. Disappointing crowd. Impressive crowd in Malang saw Arema overcome Persiba and climb to 12th while a crap crowd saw PSPS pick up three points at home.


Rahmat Affandi

I've always felt kind of sorry for Rahmat Affandi. The striker is a victim of an Indonesian league that is reluctant to really trust in young players. Yes, one or two do breakthrough; Boas Solossa, Okta Maniani, Yongki Aribowo and Megia Kurnia spring to mind but for those names there are a score that don't.

Rahmat falls into that category. He scored a brace at the weekend (pictured left celebrating his first) as Persija defeated Indonesia Super League champions Sriwijaya 3-0 at the Bung Karno in Jakarta but he was only playing because first choice striker Bambang Pamungkas was in England carrying the Olympic torch.

It's not as if clubs don't rate him. Before signing for Persija he had enjoyed spells with Arema and Persib.

The 28 year old striker started his career with Persija back in 2003 before a move to Persebaya. He stayed one season there before moving to Pelita Jaya where he had one season before heading to North Sulawesi where he had one season with Persibom.

Then he had one season with Persikabo followed by one season with PSMS (pictured right celebrating a goal against Persik.

Followed of course with one season at Arema and Persib.

Despite having gone through the age groups with the national team, Rahmat has yet to make an appearance for the full team.

So what is it with him? The big clubs rate him enough to sign him but not play him?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Buriram Home Defeat Shock

Thai Premier League champions Buriram United, who won the league when they were known as Buriram PEA but the PEA have moved elsewhere and the rump of the championship winning team merged with Buriram who are the older club who won Division One, are you with me so far, have finally lost a home game.

Chonburi, backed by a scion of an influential east coast family, defeated the champions, backed by an influential north east family, 4-3 earlier this evening. Yep, I know, unbelievable innit? And it comes just weeks after Persiwa, an Indonesian team who don't 'do' home defeats, lost at home.

Before we get too excited it's only fair to point out some extenuating circumstances that accompanied both home defeats.

The game in Buriram was reffed by Japanese officials. The inference of course is clear. The Persiwa defeat was at home to their Papuan 'brothers'.

Anyway, quite how the influential north east family was talked into allowing a foreign ref is unclear. Perhaps they can say 'oh look, aren't we fair, we lost a home game?'

I got an email today from someone in Thailand who told me that foreigners don't understand how good the Thai league is and how the cost of living there is much cheaper than other countries; especially Indonesia. The correspondent of course has never been here but that's par for the course.

He went on to suggest leagues like Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar had to pay their players higher salaries because the standard in those countries was much lower than in Thailand. Of course players would willingly play in Thailand for free just to stay in the land of smiles is what he seems to be insinuating.

Eagle eye observers may have noticed a lot less Thai coverage in recent months. One reason is I think it's going down the tubes for all the hype. Beyond Chonburi, Muang Thong, BEC Tero and Buriram there ain't a lot of quality there.

Today Army United hosted TTM in front of less than 4,000. Not long ago BBCU played Samut Songkram in front of 239 fans. Only four clubs have pulled crowds in excess of 10,000 so far this season, Buriram United, Muang Thong United, Bangkok Glass and Wuachon United, don't ask where they came from, who have the largest crowd of the season when 30,101 saw them play Muang Thong United.

All the changes that go on up there make it quite difficult to follow from a far and as a family man that also covers the game in Indonesia there just aren't enough hours in the day to focus on three different kinds of insanity. Anyway there are plenty of great websites out there who do a good job of keeping up with stuff there any contribution I can make just ain't worth the effort.


The Champions Column

My latest Jakarta Globe column pays tribute to Indonesia Super League champions Sriwijaya!


Results 23/06

Indonesia Super League

PSMS v Pelita Jaya 1-2 (Osas Marvellous; Greg Nwokolo, Safee Sali) 6,755
Persidafon v Persisam 2-1 (Juan Cirelli, Yohanes Pahabol; Srdan Lopicic) 5,525
Persiwa v Mitra Kukar 3-1 (Ferdinando Mote, Eddie Boakay 2; Victor Simon) 553

Indonesia Premier League

Persiba Bantul v Arema 1-0 (Busari)
Persebaya v Persijap 2-1 (Karlovic, Yusuf Hamzah; OG)
PSM v Bontang 2-1 (Spasojevic, Rahmat; Rully)

Malaysia Super League

Sarawak v Perak 1-2
T Team v Negeri Sembilan 1-1
PKNS v Terengganu 2-2
Kelantan v Sabah 2-0
Kedah v KL 2-1

1 - LionsX11 24 15 5 4 47-20 50
2 - Kelantan 20 14 5 1 38-12 47
3 - Perak 21 11 3 7 30-29 36


Tampines v Balestier Khalsa 3-1 (Saed Hadzibulic 2, Jamil Ali; Ruhaizad Ismail)
DPMM v SAFFC 1-2 (Adi Said; OG, Fazrul Nawaz)

Another thrilling evening in the SLeague with champions Tampines joining DPMM on top of the table after SAFFC's sensational win in Brunei. Looks like the SLeague website has stopped giving match attendances which is a shame. No, it's not. The shame is that the exciting local league is ignored by locals who think it is cool to follow a team from a city they could never find on a map.

1 - DPMM 13 9 2 2 29-12 29
2 - Tampines 14 9 2 3 28-14 29
3 - Home United 14 8 3 3 23-16 27
4 - Albirex Niigata 14 8 3 3 23-16 27

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Results 22/06

Indonesia Super League

PSAP v Persib 3-0 (Abu Bakar 2, Camera) 1,500

Good to see several Persib fans make the long journey north for this game. There were banners from Karawang, Palembang and Bogor among others highlighting the support this special football club receives. The fans turned up...a shame the players didn't.


Gombak United v Home United 1-2 (Mustaqim Manzur; Frederic Mendy, Indra Sahdan Daud)

Not written about the SLeague for ain't been forgotten! Seven yellows and one red in what looks like a real fun packed game at Jurong West Stadium but it was Home who took home the points and kept their title bid alive, alive o.

1 - DPMM 13 9 2 2 29-12 29
2 - Home United 14 8 3 3 28-16 27
3 - Albirex Niigata 14 8 3 3 23-16 27
4 - Tampines 13 8 2 3 25-13 26

Malaysia Super League

Felda United v Johor FC 0-1

Malaysia Premier League

Harimau Muda v KL Pos 1-0
Sime Darby v MP Muar 6-0
Pahang v PP USM 1-1
ATM v Johor 3-2
Perlis v NS Betaria 1-0

1 - ATM 19 14 3 2 62-18 45
2 - Pahang 20 12 4 3 50-23 40
3 - Sime Darby 19 11 3 5 42-18 36
4 - PP USM 19 11 2 6 37-28 35

Friday, June 22, 2012


Queens Park Rangers Tinker With Asian Tour

17/7 v Sabah Select (Likas Stadium, Kota Kinabulu)
20/7 v Kelantan (Shah Alam Stadium, Shah Alam)
23/7 v Persebaya (Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya)

More details here

The game in Surabaya is a new addition to their tour. I wonder if they are aware of the riot that happened recently at a Persebaya game?

The city of Surabaya is no stranger to hosting teams from London. Back in 1983 Arsenal played there on an Indonesian tour. NIAC Mitra, featuring Fandi Ahmad, beat them!


'Official' Divisi Utama Play Offs

The official Divisi Utama season finished while I was away. Pro Duta won Group One, Persepar won Group Two and Perseman Group Three.

The play offs will be held in the first week of July

1/7 Pro Duta v Perseman
3/7 Perseman v Persepar
5/7 Persepar v Pro Duta

Jalak Harupat Stadium is favourite to host the games but has not been fully confirmed yet.

I guess all three teams get promoted to the IPL for next season, whenever that may commence


Divisi Utama (LI) Play Offs

Group A (Deltras Stadium, Sidoarjo)

Persepam, Persita, Persiku, PSBK

25/06 Persita v Persepam, Persiku v PSBK
27/06 Persita v Persiku, Persepam v PSBK
30/06 Persiku v Persepam, PSBK v Persita

Group B (Mandala Krida Stadium, Yogyakarta)

PSIM, Barito Putra, Persebaya, Sumbawa Barat

26/06 Barito Putra v Persebaya, Sumbawa Barat v PSIM
28/06 Persebaya v PSIM, Barito Putra v Sumbawa Barat
01/07 Sumbawa Barat v Persebaya, PSIM v Barito Putra

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Deltras v Persegres 1-1

This was one of those games you look at and wonder why the hell they chose to show it live. Deltras are 17th, Persegres, sometimes known as Gresik United, are 16th. Both teams struggle to average a goal a game.

As it happens the East Java derby turned out to be a pretty decent game. Plenty of scything tackles, plenty of diving, plenty of inexplicable refereeing decisions. Just not a lot of goals which both came in the first half with the home team taking the lead through Supandi. Gustavo Chena equalising.

Second half was mostly Gresik or Persegres or what ever you wanna call them. Then we got to injury time and Deltras will feel they could have, should have won.

First a neat turn in the box by their number 16, Qischil Gandrum, and a smart finish with the outside of the right boot only rippled the side netting. It was a difficult skill and he did well in the circumstances; it was certainly out of sorts with the rest of the game.

Moments later Ade Suhendra finally got the red card he had been so assiduously seeking second half, felling a marauding Deltras player while he was still sat on the deck. From the resulting free kick Budi Sudarsono's free kick was just inches over.

Honours even and not the result either team really wanted.

15 - Persiram 30 8 8 14 39-57 32
16 - Persegres 30 9 4 17 31-62 31
17 - Deltras 30 7 8 15 31-42 29
18 - PSAP 30 5 9 16 27-58 24


Indonesia Cup Semi Final Action

Yesterday saw the first leg of the Indonesia Cup Semi Finals and both games were accompanied by some controversy.

Persebaya defeated Semen Padang at the Bung Tomo Stadium with two goals from Mat Halil, the second deep in injury time.

Persebaya had a player sent off and play was also held up for 15 minutes as they bitched and whined about the ref. Given the volatility of an element of Persebaya's support at times, a recent game was marred by riots, this can only be seen as deliberate intimidation of the match officials but hey, that's only an assumption.

The other semi saw Persibo defeat PPSM 2-1.

The second legs will be played 27 June.


Rare Good News For Persija Fans

Following discussions yesterday, Jakarta police have given permission for Persija's home game with newly crowned champions Sriwijaya to go ahead at the Bung Karno Stadium on Sunday with spectators present.

Let's hope the game passes off peacefully.

Persija striker Bambang Pamungkas won't be lining up for the home team. He's off to England to take part in carrying the olympic flame some place up north.

Pah! Some excuse that eh?


The Champions' Coach

A few eyebrows were raised, a few heads scratched and a few foreheads furrowed when Sriwijaya appointed Kas Hartadi as their coach for the 2011/2012. Kas who, or Kas siapa, was the general response to the man charged with consigning Ivan Kolev's trophyless campaign to history.

On paper it was a strange decision. Sriwijaya are an ambitious club and have traditionally looked to big name coaches; before Kolev Rahmad Darmawan brought them much success.

The 42 year Hartadi certainly didn't appear on many people's radar yet he was known to the Sriwijaya heirarchy; he'd spent time with the Under 21s as well as assisting Kolev during the barren year.

As a player he had hardly set the world alight either. He started his career with Kramayudhya Tiga Berlian, whoever they might be, before joining Arseto Solo. With the introduction of a full time, professional league he joined Gelora Dewata before a season with the interestingly named BPD Jateng (OK, I lied, it ain't an interesting name but I do so love adjectives).

Then he was back to Solo, his home town, for another season then Persikabo, back to Solo but this time with Persis, then Persid Jember before ending his career with Putra Samarinda in 2006.

Oh, and did you know he has a 7 year old kid named King Eric Cantona?!

Anyway, his first season in charge and he lifts the Indonesia Super League. People will definitely know his name now!

Source - Top Skor


Results 20/06 - Sriwijaya Champions

Indonesia Super League

Sriwijaya v Persela 3-0 ( M Ridwan 2, Keith Kayamba Gumbs) 25,553
Persipura v Persisam 3-1 (Gerald Pangkali, Yohanes Tjoe, Ian Louis Kabes; Christian Gonzales) 1,100
Persidafon v Mitra Kukar 2-1 (Patrick Wanggai, Yohanes Pahabol; Jajang Mulyana) 8,540

Sriwijaya were crowned champions after brushing aside Persela yesterday. Persipura's win was academic given the 11 point gap between the teams. An embarrassing crowd in Jayapura...1,100? Gee, they really love their football there eh? As long as they're winning trophies.

More analysis on Sriwijaya's triumph will be appearing in the Jakarta Globe over the next day or so

1 - Sriwijaya 30 23 4 3 68-26 73
2 - Persipura 31 18 8 5 58-30 62

22 - Keith Kayamba Gumbs (Sriwijaya)
19 - Alberto Goncalves (Persipura), Greg Nwokolo (Pelita Jaya)
18 - Mario Costas (Persela)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Stop Making Sense

It's not often things make sense in Indonesian football but for Persija to 'host' PSPS yesterday in Samarinda did.

Persija of course are not being allowed to play games in Jakarta following the deaths of three fans at their recent home game against Persib and while PSPS was never going to be a high risk game with large numbers of travelling fans, the security officials, rather than actually do their job, preferred to just say niet. Non. Nein.

Indonesian clubs are 'paired' which means that two teams will pretty much follow the same fixture list. Persija's partner is PSPS and with both clubs playing in East Kalimantan it made sense, in that fuzzy Alice in Wonderland kind of way, to add a couple of days to their stay and play each other.

That way the game could be played and everyone could move on to the next disaster.

Persija won 4-0 in the game played behind closed doors with Pedro Javier scoring a hat trick, Bambang Pamungkas the other.

Why was it played behind closed doors? God knows. Not everything makes sense!

In yesterday's other ISL game Persiram came from behind to defeat third placed Persiwa 2-1 with the winner coming right at the end which is nice. I do like the idea of Persiwa losing in the last minute.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


AFC Under 22

I dunno, we have SEA Games for Under 23, Under 21, Under 19, Under 17, now this. What next? AFC Left Footed Cup perhaps? Or the AFC Brown Eyed, Peroxide Blonde Cup?

Indonesia could be, should be, may be, hosting a group in Pekanbaru but rumours out there the stadiums ain't finished yet.

If they do go ahead and host it then the draw can be found here

One thing that won't happen...the local organisers won't go round local schools and dole out free tickets...


Malaysian Squad

Keeper: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan), Sharbinee Allawee Ramli (Terengganu), Farizal Marlias (Negri Sembilan)

Defence: Amirizwan Taj Tajuddin, Azmi Muslim, Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak (semua ATM), Mahali Jasuli, Fadhli Shas (both Harimau Muda A), Asraruddin Putra Omar, Bunyamin Umar (Selangor), Faizal Muhammad (Terengganu), Sabre Mat Abu (Kedah), S. Subramaniam (Kelantan)

Midfield: Mohd Shakir Shaari, S. Chanturu (semua Kelantan), K. Gurusamy, Safiq Rahim (both Selangor), Shahurain Abu Samah, S. Kunanlan (Negri Sembilan), Amar Rohidan (Kedah), Wan Zack Haikal (Harimau Muda A)

Strikers: Ahmad Shakir Ali (Negri Sembilan), Azamuddin Akil (Pahang), Safee Sali (Pelita Jaya), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan)

Malaysia play Singapore 8 and 12 June, first in Singapore and then, second, in, no, I won't, you gues where. I'll give you a clue. It ain't Kiev...


Thai (Non)Update

Meanwhile in Thailand some team called United played another team who are owned by a powerful politician and the ref showed lots of cards but made sure the team with the more powerful owner won.

Insert club names as appropriate...

Something like 22,000 fans saw the eight TPL games last people still think it is the best league in the region?


PSS Fans Buck Trend

One guy recently posted on this blog that local media don't like good stories and he has a point. So I am happy to write about PSS fans for the Jakarta Globe, just a small redress of current perceptions.

Monday, June 04, 2012


Another Death Mars IPL Action

Bontang v Persema 2-5 (Serge Emaleu, Kande Lansana; Guy Bertrand, Reza Mostafa, Kim Kurniawan, Emile Mbamba, M Kamri)
PSMS v Persijap 1-1 (Ahn Hyo Yeon; I Made Wirahadi)
Arema v Persiraja 2-1 (TA Mushafry, Amiruddin; Arief Kurniawan)
Persebaya v Persija 3-3 (Fernando Soler 2, Otavio Dutra; Emmanuel de Porras 2, Rinto Ali)

The game in Surabaya was described as a 'pearler'. Persija scored twice just after half time to give themselves the lead before the home team pulled back. Then de Porras scored his second in injury time to give the team who come from Jakarta but don't play in Jakarta 'cos no one in Jakarta likes them, a scent of three points but the home team pulled one back moments later.

Didn't matter, the home fans went on the rampage, police fired tear gas, one fan died and that is the stoy of another week in Indonesian football.


Goals Galore In ISL

Persib v Mitra Kukar 5-0 (Milan Radovic, Atep, Noh Alam Shah, Marcio Souza 2) 22,500
Pelita Jaya v Persisam 3-0 (Greg Nwokolo 2, Victor Igbenefo) 7,132
Deltras v Persidafon 0-1 (Yohanes Pahabol) 4,325
Persiwa v PSAP 4-1 (Eddy Boakay Foday 3, Eric Weeks Lewis) 453
Persipura v PSMS 5-0 (David Laly, Yustinus Pae, Paulin Pierre Bio, Ian Louis Kabes, Lukas Mandowen) 15,262
Persiba v Persiram 5-1 (Aldo Baretto 2, Kenji Adichihara, Sultan Samma, Lewenussa; Kubay Quaiyan) 4,258

1 - Sriwijaya 27 20 4 3 58-24 64
2 - Persipura 28 16 7 5 48-28 55
3 - Persiwa 27 15 4 8 48-34 49
4 - Persija 27 12 9 6 43-26 45
5 - Persiba 28 12 9 7 52-45 45


Not All Fans Are Thugs

Of course not all Indonesian football fans are thugs. The vast majority are decent folk who just wanna support their team without being teargassed by police, get caught up in a brawl or have ambitious politicians use them for their own nefarious purposes.

Couple of weeks back I saw PSS fans putting on a far better show than their team did against Persipasi. The seven coachloads who had made the long journey from home got behind their team from the get go and stayed their all the way through.

When things got a bit lairy on the field after the final whistle there was no more than two or three fans forcing back the more excitable members of the travelling contingent who wanted to get down on the field for some post game dancing with the ref or security services.

That same supporters group, Brigata Curva Sud, recently held a charity night to raise funds for three PSS fans who had been victims of incidents previously, sorry not fully clear what incidents.

The fans auctioned player's shirts and other memorabilia and raised almost 24 million rupiah, over $2,500, for the victims families.


Arthur Irawan

Indonesia is no place for an ambitious young footballer to learn his trade. The domestic league is a mess at the best of times with clubs having difficulties paying players salaries and bonuses; training methods come from the Stone Age with coaches, often under  pressure from club management, prioritizing stamina over ball skill and appalling match officials occasionally under pressure to ensure bias towards a certain team.

Many clubs have a strong manager who is often a political figure using football as a vehicle to boost his standing in the area and they use their influence to interfere at all levels within the football club even to the extent of telling the coach which players to pick and which to drop.

You only have to look at players like Yongki Aribowo, a promising striker, who moves club seemingly every season as coaches are under pressure to prioritise older, more expensive players, often imports.
Poor infrastructure does nothing to develop a player’s technical ability; most pitches are owned by local government who spend nothing on the upkeep or care of the playing surface meaning players must perform on pot holed surfaces risking injury.

Then there is the travel. In a country of 17,000 islands spread across three time zones travelling to away games can be a chore and with clubs perennially starved of funds the cheapest possible option is chosen meaning it can take 24 hours to get to a game using cramped economy class on budget airlines followed by a night or two in the cheapest hotel possible.

All in all a very disheartening landscape for a young player to make an impact.

And yet despite the problems at home, very few players move overseas. A handful have had short spells in Malaysia, a country with a shared culture and similar language to Indonesia but high salaries combined with the strong pull of the family, most players come from poorer backgrounds with their strong links, mean many find it easier to just stay home and bite the bullet.

Amid this background there was therefore some surprise when it was announced RCD Espanyol in Spain’s La Liga had signed a young Indonesian player. Arthur Irawan signed professional terms for the team based in Barcelona in January of this year after impressing at the youth level and was recently called up for training with the first team ahead of a friendly against Al Ahly.

The reaction in his homeland was one of Arthur who? For sure, his background marks him down as different to most of his compatriots. While they learnt their trade with local SSBs (Sekolah Sepak Bola or Football Schools) Irawan was studying at an international school in Jakarta.

Despite only being with the Spanish club a short time, Irawan has impressed with his attitude. Under 18 coach Fran Navarro, who has seen the youngster progress, says “Arthur’s got great versatility and sometimes he’s had to play as second striker and has demonstrated not only his speed but his discipline.” He added that it was “very easy to work with him because he always wants to learn and it has enabled much progress in recent months.”

With several first choice first team players unavailable, Irawan was called up by coach Mauricio Pochettino and of course the Surabaya born defender who has also played as a second striker, was left feeling very proud, commenting “It was an amazing experience to train with the first team. We’re talking internationals and guys who’ve played dozens of games in La Liga. It was an unbelievable feeling.”

Indeed, so excited was Irawan after that first training session his agent Paul Hodgetts, said he couldn’t get him back to earth! To add to the excitement, Uruguayan legendary striker Walter Pandiani was the first to congratulate the youngster after the training session.

Irawan is one of a handful of players from Indonesia being given a chance in Europe. CS Vise, a second division team in Belgium, has Syamsir Alam, formerly with the reserve team of Uruguayan CF Penarol, Yericho Christiantoko and Yandi Munawar. Perhaps, finally, recognition that for any promising young player to fully develop their talent they need to escape the constricting domestic environment.

Training with the first team for an end of season friendly does not mean Irawan has made the breakthrough. It does mean that he has been noticed but his future development is still down to him. And he knows this. As Navarro says “he’s got a strong commitment to improve day by day.”

COMMENT - first appeared in the Jakarta Globe


Another Weekend, Another Death

Following on from last weekend's tragedy at Bung Karno when three fans died following a brawl at the Persija v Persib, was anybody really expecting anyone out there to do anything about it?

Nope, didn't think there would be.

Another death at the weekend. Persebaya hosted Persija (the one with no fans) in Surabaya and in disturbances after the game a fan of the home team was killed in a stampede. The police said he died due to lack of oxygen!

What was particularly unpleasant following the Jakarta deaths was people n Twitter pointing the blame at the now rebel league. That this death happened at a game under the auspices of the official league should not be seen as a levelling of scores in the immature point scoring so beloved of the puerile.

The issue is crowd control and the lack thereof.

How many more needless deaths must football witness? many more I'm afraid. No one accepts there is a problem and anyway, the people dying aren't that rich are they? So no one gives a rubber duck.

The Surabaya police have responded by saying that no more games will be played in their city bringing to three the number of cities that have all but banned football from their stadiums. Tangerang, Jakarta and Surabaya.

There was a riot in Jayapura recently, with rumours of a death, but then no action was ever taken against Persipura and none is likely on crowd control in the future.

Perhaps it needs a local news organisation or fan group to start keeping a toll on how many fans die at football in this country in the same way CNN keeps count of dead soldiers at Uncle Sam's latest war.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Toffees To Jakarta?

I first floated this on Twitter a few days ago but no one seemed to know much about it. But as is often the case in this country communication ain't always the best; after hearing from the PSSI they knew nothing about it came a story quoting to the top guy there as saying that negotiations were underway for Everton to come here at a date to be confirmed.

This has now been picked up by an Everton fan site.

Nothing more than that is being printed by other media so I won't add to it for now.

Suffice to say June 15 FIFA will meet to discuss the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), a meeting where one contact has told me they are fed up enough to finally take action against the PSSI for their inability to reign in the errant ISL.

The PSSI apparently feel confident they will, yet again, escape sanction.

If they are suspended from international football then it is unlikely Everton would come as they too could face sanction from those numpties at FIFA who excaberated the whole problem in Indonesia in the first place through their inactivity and self interest.


Singapore's Sorry Run Continues

In the One Time British Colonies Now Economically Powerful City State Derby last night Hong Kong edged Singapore 1-0 with a first half goal.

While Lions coach Raddy Avramovic took heart from the performances of some of the young players in the team Singapore's recent poor results at international level will be causing concern ahead of the AFF Cup later this year.

Hong Kong v Singapore 1-0
Iraq v Singapore 7-1
Azerbijan v Singapore 2-2
Singapore v China 0-4
Jordan v Singapore 2-0
Singapore v Jordan 0-3
Singapore v Philippines 2-0

Next up are a couple of friendlies against Malaysia


Sriwijaya 12 Points Clear

The Sriwijaya steamroller shows no sign of halting. A tricky game in Balikpapan saw them end the game with 10 men yet still take home the three points.

Two goals in four minutes from M Ridwan gave the visitors an early lead before the prolific Aldo Baretto pulled one back for the home team.

Keith Kayamba Gumbs restored the two goal cushion just shy of the half hour mark with a penalty, his 19th of the season and that's how it was at half time.

Achmad Jufriyanto was shown a second yellow early in the second half and Baretto scored his second of the afternoon on 76' but Sriwijaya held on for a crucial three points.

They now need just nine points from their remaining seven games to lift their second title in either four or five years.

They previously won the Liga Indonesia in 2007 but the season, marred by continual rest breaks, didn't finally finish until early 2008!

1 - Sriwijaya 27 20 4 3 58-24 64
2 - Persipura 27 15 7 5 43-28 52

Friday, June 01, 2012


Singapore v Malaysia Ticket Sales

Singapore will play Malaysia at home on June 8 and away on June 12.

Early-bird ticket sales (open to Singapore citizens and permanent residents only) are from 10am to 6pm on June 2 and 3, and priced at $7 (gallery, King George's Stand) and $15 (grandstand).

Pre-match sales, from 10am to 8pm on June 6 and 7, and match day sales on June 8 from 5pm onwards are priced at $18 (grandstand), $10 (gallery and King George's Stand).

Concession tickets are priced at $3 (King George's Stand and Gallery).*

*Students and senior citizens must produce their concession passes upon entry into the Jalan Besar Stadium.


Indonesia Cup Quarter Final Draw

Semen Padang v PSMS
Persebaya v Persik
PPSM v Persiba/Perseman
Persibo v Arema

Apparently ties to be played 6 June while the outstanding game will be played 3 June


Persija Play Behind Closed Doors

Following the deaths of three fans last week at the Persija v Persib game in Jakarta, Persija have been forced to play their next home game against PSPS in Cilegon behind closed doors.

It will be Persija's fourth home game outside of Jakarta. Previous games have been played in Yogyakarta and Malang.

UPDATE - It's been postponed. Let's hope the Pekanbaru team hadn't done anything daft like fly to Jakarta a couple of days before the game!


Fantasy Friendlies

The Indonesian Football Association are at it again. They are giving the impression that countries are queuing up to play Indonesia in a friendly. The old mob did the same, throwing out names like Argentina, Ivory Coast and Netherlands with gay abandon.

Cameroon, Algeria, China, North Korea, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka are reportedly keen to come here while Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Timor Leste and Philippines (in other words half of ASEAN) are keen on home and away games.

Dates, we are breathlessly informed, are being discussed. 'Cos of course there is so much free time. I mean some countries out there schedule their friendlies on FIFA dates. That is designed to make things easier for all concerned.

Indonesia don't bother with such niceties.

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