Monday, May 23, 2016


Crowd Trouble Mars Gresik United v PS TNI Clash

In the days after FIFA readmitted the PSSI there has been little for Indonesian football to celebrate. First there was the death of a young Persija fan outside the Bung Karno Stadium at their home game against Persela. Witnesses blame the police, the police say it was an accident after supporters were fighting among themselves trying to get inside the stadium.

Then in the early hours of Sunday morning PSIM fans returning their game in Semarang against PSIS stopped off in the wrong part of town and things kicked off, leaving one PSS Sleman fan dead. Another teenager.

On Sunday afternoon, Gresik United's home game was held up after three minutes after visiting PS TNI fans invaded the pitch to get at the home fans.
Photo Source

Apparently it all started when some Gresik fans tried to nick a PS TNI banner. Not a good idea at most games but especially when their fans are drawn from the military. Some PS TNI fans retaliated by charging across the terrace to get at the home fans while others took a short cut and invaded the pitch.

The game was being shown live on TV and viewers were subjected to the sight of Gresik fans scrambling to get away from the invaders. With play halted both teams stood in front of the main stand watching the action, occasionally intervening to help a fleeing Gresik fan while chasing away fans ignored military cops to rain down punches on their enemy.

The trouble flared for 20 minutes before officials were able to get things under control. Meanwhile it was reported more than 50 Gresik fans had been ferried to local hospitals to receive treatment.

Despite PS TNI not existing as a professional football club before 2016, they took over Persiram, the club have managed to attract a number of supporters with their two home games at Siliwangi Stadium attracting an average of around 7,500. (Their next home games will be moved to Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong). However most of that support is being drawn from the ranks of the military and images from the incident yesterday show crew cut young men dressed similarly heavily involved.

The military have since come out with a statement saying; 'We can not yet confirm those involved in the incident are serving military personnel or from the normal community'.

How the events were recorded in Jawa Pos 

The crowd trouble has only added to fans fears across the country they are easy targets for security officials and certainly there does appear to be a marked difference in the way they are treated and the more kid glove approach officials take towards mass organizations founded upon ethnicity or religion. And while we often see smiling politicians rushing for photo opportunities at election time cozying up to fans they seem to have gone AWOL at the moment.

In Thailand Army United have a number of foreign fans who have adopted them as their favourite local team while in Malaysia ATM have seen their support melt away since their team has been so pants. It is hard to see PS TNI being adopted by many Indonesians outside of serving members and their families so for the time being they will be drawing heavily on the local men in baracks being let out for the game.

It will be interesting to see what repercussions there will be for PS TNI. Indonesia Soccer Championship officials have been quick to fine clubs when their supporters have been guilty of heinous offences like letting off flares inside the stadium. What action will they take against the military over this incident?

Two deaths. 50 plus injured. Pitch invasion. Indonesian football is back.

The game? Oh yeah, it ended 0-0 and you should have seen the relief evident on the face of the ref when he blew the final whistle!

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