Tuesday, August 01, 2017


Persib's Stadium Ban Eased

It must be nice to have friends in high places.

Just days after reporting Persib supporters had been banned from attending their team's next five games following the violence at their game which saw one fan die of his injuries it was announced today the ban had been lifted. Instead Persib fans will now be allowed to watch the games after all. Why? I don't know. No one knows. Indonesian football moves in mysterious ways which could of course be one reason why it is not very successful.

There is one condition though. For the next five games Persib fans will not be allowed to wear club colours. This is quite a common reaction to fan misbehaviour and the way it is announced by the PSSI it is almost as if the supporters are being punished. Really?What different does it make if the fans wear club colours or not? Are they less likely to get violent? Remember, the poor lad who was beaten up so badly he never recovered was not wearing Persib colours.

Persib have had to pay several hundred million rupiah in fines because their fans had broken one rule or another but here we have the PSSI handing down a punishment only to cave in and dilute it at the first protest. Of course it does help if you have friends in high places doesn't it.

Other clubs who have been told to play games behind closed doors have been less fortunate. Persija's game with Persipura saw an attendance of zero. No appeal. No change of heart. Gresik United were forced to play their game with Bali United last night in Lamongan after a pitch invasion earlier in the season. 

Liga 2 sides Persis and PSS must now be hoping they too can receive some favourable treatment after their fans were banned from attending games following disturbances but I don't think they will be holding their breath. 

Countries in this region like to say they want to hire foreigners who understand the local culture. At the same time many qualified people will have no interest in working in this part of the world because they know their efforts can ultimately count for nothing if someone feels slighted and they have the ear of powerful friends. 

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