Gresik Is United

Gresik united fans

Having added the final signature, Fandi Ahmad Yani threw down the pen with a sigh, turned to his counterpart and extended a firm hand. As Kaji Riki (a representative of Ultras Gresik) shook it, a polite round of applause rippled among the journalists and reporters gathered in the conference room. The six men sat at the table congratulated each other on the business conducted that day before turning to force a smile for the photographers.

It had happened at long last. Gresik United Football Club is owned by Continue reading

Sunnis, Sukarno and Soccer Pt II

Palembang fans

For part I of Sunnis, Sukarno and Soccer, please click here.

It is easy to make the mental leap that Indonesia is “more Muslim” than its sibling Malaysia is. But if that is the case, why are Koranic prayers read at before Football matches in Malaysia and not in Indonesia? The answer perhaps lies in the path to independence of both modern nation states.

It is something of a sour point to the Chinese and Indian Malaysians that Islam, a faith that is entirely foreign to them, has been chosen as their state religion. Yet in a country where ethnicity is a factor that influences your legal rights and civil status, the Chinese and Indian Malaysians are somewhat used to playing second fiddle.

The British shipped their ancestors into their Southeast Asian territories in Continue reading

Sunnis, Sukarno and Soccer Pt I

JDT Malaysian super league

A gruff voice boomed across the ground, magnified to ensure absolute clarity. The chatter of noise from the terraces abruptly stopped, all spectators shuffled to their feet. Way down below I was already on mine, but to my left I noticed a handful of young men in one of the media boxes end their conversation and put their smartphones away in haste, before bowing their heads. The exact message of the announcement was lost on me, but I Continue reading

Ultras Aufkleber of the Week – PSS Sleman

PSS Sleman are a small outfit competing in the Indonesian Liga 2 that hail from the neighbourhood of Sleman just north of Yogyakarta in Java. The club has become relatively famous worldwide thanks to the actions of its primary Ultra group, Brigata Curva Sud, who broke away from the PSS hooligan faction “Slemania” to focus more on creativity than aggression in their support for the club. Such is the extent of BCS’ influence now that the group actually sponsors the club via merchandise sales of their own clothing and accessories. It is a remarkable story, and one you should read up on.

Brigata Curva Sud sticker

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Ultras Aufkleber of the Week – Persebaya

Bonek is the fan group of Indonesian heavyweights Persebaya Surabaya, who have just been promoted back to Liga 1. The club has had a long recent battle with the governing body of Indonesian Football, the PSSI, thus Persebaya Surabaya have just been licenced to play in the league again. Bonek themselves are a bunch known for wild behaviour, and as such, have a deservedly fierce reputation across the country.

Just ignore the PSIM Yogyakarta sticker sat in the middle for some reason….

Persebaya sticker

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Why Persija’s Victory Over JDT Matters

Malaysia vs Indonesia

On the 10th of April, Persija Jakarta and Johor Darul Ta’zim FC played against each other at the Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta in the group stage of the AFC Cup. Besides promising an exciting clash on the field, the fixture represented more than just the meeting of two big Football clubs.

JDT FC is the current dominant force within Malaysian Football. The club from Continue reading