What’s going on with Indonesia?

"This is a big country with a lot of talent. It should be top of the class," says Timo Scheunemann, a former coach and youth development director in the official league. "But this story has had more twists and turns than a Venezuelan telenovela. No one could script it."

Once ranked as high as 81st in the world, Indonesia’s national team slipped to 166th this month, but not for any reason related to struggles on the pitch. 

As Ben Otto breaks it down in this piece for the Wall Street Journal, whoever controls domestic soccer controls politics. And with a national election next year, the stakes are high. [Posted by Maxi]

What’s going on with Indonesia?

"This is a big country with a lot of talent. It should be top of the class," says Timo Scheunemann, a former coach and youth development director in the official league. "But this story has had more twists and turns than a Venezuelan telenovela. No one could script it."

Once ranked as high as 81st in the world, Indonesia’s national team slipped to 166th this month, but not for any reason related to struggles on the pitch. 

As Ben Otto breaks it down in this piece for the Wall Street Journal, whoever controls domestic soccer controls politics. And with a national election next year, the stakes are high. [Posted by Maxi]

#WhereIsFootball: Kabupaten Purworejo, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia

"Dear friends in AFR,

I’m Arit Santoso, admin of http://ligapurworejo.blogspot.com. It is an account about amateur football in Kabupaten Purworejo, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia.

I wanna share football photos that I captured in my city. These are from the final match of amateur tournament in Kecamatan Bener, Kabupaten Purworejo. Hope you will be interested. And here’s a match report (in Indonesian). Thank you.”

Arit, we’re one day into the #WhereIsFootball project and you’re already making it a worthwhile pursuit. While I’m not sure where your city is (or even how to pronounce it correctly), in that last shot I see a familiar joy in such a foreign setting. Indeed, no setting where you find joy is too familiar or too foreign to share.

Get involved with #WhereIsFootball and follow us on Instagram.

Indonesia’s football woes, when government and sport collide

Soraya Soemadiredja, writing from Jakarta

The play by play of the recent friendly between Indonesia and Uruguay mirrors the conditions of which the Indonesian fans have been subject at the international level for their national side. They started out enthusiastic, strong and willing to commit, even managing to score first. But with every attack on their goal, be it a poor result by the national team or corruption, the more disenchanted they become. Fatigue sets in from dealing with politicians taking advantage of the most popular sport. Then the unravelling,  opposition hammering at their net without defence from an adequate development system.

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