Football revival in Indonesia

The Indonesian National Team was defeated in the second game of the championship match against Malaysia's football team, the Tiger of Malaya. Despite the 2-1 result in favor of Indonesia, the Malaysian team won through accumulated goals.

The ASEAN Football Federation Cup final between Indonesia and Malaysia has been the year end's most anticipated event.

Previously on Boxing Day, at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Malaysia won the first leg match 3-0 against Indonesia.

Since the start of the AFF Cup, the Indonesian team has managed to pull together nationalism, media attention, and controversies.

The match at GBK Stadium Jakarta. Photo by Plixi user Citra.

Indonesian supporters. Photo by Plixi user Hasanuddin Ali.

Live viewing at one of Jakarta's shopping malls. Photo by Ranie Primza.

Most offices and public gatherings, such as reunions and gallery openings also held live viewing of the game. Photo by Prast Lampard.

A day before the match, striker Bambang Pamungkas wrote a blog post:
“Football is an unpredictable thing.. Some results will make you shock, but that’s the thing that makes it passionate, the mystery in it”
He reflected about the national team's defeat on Boxing Day:
Di tengah optimisme akan kebangkitan persepakbolaan kita yg begitu melambung tinggi, kekalahan telak tersebut bak sebuah petir di siang bolong.
Keceriaan dan teriakan kemenangan itu tidak terdengar lagi, yg samar-samar terdengar hanyalah suara hembusan napas panjang dan decakan penyesalan yg keluar para pemain yg masih nampak setengah tidak percaya..
Sesaat sebelum memimpin doa penutup, saya meminta waktu kepada Riedl untuk berbicara di depan semua pemain. Dengan setengah berteriak saya berkata “Rekan-rekan kekalahan ini harus berhenti di ruangan ini. Kita tidak memerlukan pembahasan yg lebih panjang mengenai apa yg terjadi malam ini, tidak ada saling menyalahkan tentang apa yg terjadi di lapangan tadi. Kita menang bersama-sama dan sudah seharusnya kita juga kalah bersama-sama”.
In the midst of optimism of our football revival, the defeat was a shock.
The cheer and victory yell weren't heard anymore, what was heard were the vague sigh of disbelief coming from the players..
A moment before the closing prayer, I asked coach Riedl to speak in front of my teammates. “Friends, the defeat will stop in this room. We don't have to assess what just happened, or blame each other for what happened in the field. We've won together, and if it's meant to be, we lose together.”

For the first time in the Indonesian football history, and thanks to the social media such as Twitter, the football fans can freely cheer for the National team, speak out their minds about the future of Indonesian football, and even connect with some of the athletes.

@bepe20 : Ternyata 6 kemenangan dan hanya sekali kalah, belum mampu membawa pulang trophy itu saudara-saudara.. Tetap Semangat…!!!

Six wins and 1 loss, however we still couldn't take home the trophy, ladies and gentlemen. Keep up your spirit!
@IrfanBachdim10:  We beat them twice!! Its not enough to win the cup. But we are the BEST of the whole tournament! And our supporters are the best!!
@IrfanBachdim10 : Im so proud of the Indonesian supporters! You are all great! Really the best supporters of the world!! Im proud of you all and to be a Indo!
@okto_maniani  : Dukungan yg luar biasa dr para suporter merupakan kehormatan bagi kami.tim kita yg terbaik,suporter kita yg terbaik.
Amazing support from the supporters was a great honor for us. Our team is the best, our supporters are the best.
The controversies

However, the AFF Cup 2010 was also marred with controversies. Starting from the laser pointers used to distract the goal keeper during a couple of matches, ticket distribution chaos, and the public demand for the controversial PSSI (Indonesian Football Association)'s president Nurdin Halid to resign.

Indonesian football fans blamed Halid [id] for the rampant corruption in the PSSI body which caused, among others, lack of improvement of football facilities in the country, fans’ injuries during football matches due to weak security, and rigged matches caused by corrupt referees.

During the Indonesia vs. Malaysia final match, die hard supporters  flew a banner saying “Nurdin Turun” (means step down Nurdin!).

Supporters’ banner and yell demanding Halid to step down. Video via eihcrats.

The movement demanding the replacement of Halid resonates on Twitter and Facebook.

1 comment

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