The shape of the world a generation from now will be influenced far more by how we communicate the values of our society to others than by military or diplomatic superiority. William Fulbright, 1964

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Revealing the invisible hand Duncan Graham

If President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was a football tragic like Peni Suparto, then Indonesia might be playing in the World Cup against Real Madrid.

But in an unreal world the leader of Indonesia is apparently into volleyball. That didn’t stop him verbally backing the nation’s chances of getting ahead in the global game when he visited Malang last month (March).

It was a brave move for a Jakarta politician not known for his football prowess or largesse. In the central East Java city soccer isn’t just another sport. It’s a life and death matter, or as some would say, more important than that.

“The president came to Malang to open the National Soccer Congress (KSN) because this is the heart of Indonesian soccer,” said Peni. “We’re the only city with two football teams. We’re fanatic, but don’t say our supporters are bonek (hooligans). They come from Surabaya. We’re Aremania.”

Arema is Malang’s top team, playing in the Republic’s Premier League. It’s named after Kebo Arema, a warrior hero of the 15th century Majapahit kingdom. Their emblem is a garish MGM-style lion, roaring from gang gateways around the city over the slogan Singo Edan – Crazy Lions.

The other team is Persema. Least said, soonest mended

Coaches who don’t perform to fans’ expectations get the graffiti treatment, their names qualified with unprintable abuse.

When he’s not talking up football as Malang City General Chairman of the All-Indonesia Football Association, Peni is the mayor of Malang, a position he’s held since 2003 as a Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (PDIP) politician.

Any challenger would need to be suffering acutely from incurable Aremania. Forget policies on fixing footpaths and plugging potholes; such municipal matters are boring, boring. There’s just one issue in the hilltown of one million, and it has nothing to do with keeping streets clean.

The KSN Malang moanfest attracted more than 500 delegates weeping about the state of Indonesian soccer. For a country with a talent catchment area of around 240 million, the world’s third most populous nation should be running rings around minnows like Spain and Brazil, let alone little Britain.

“The problem is management. We have to do this so much better,” said Peni, without going into details despite much shin-kicking. Instead he kept talking about an “invisible hand” which will direct Indonesian soccer in the future, when for many the game needs a most visible boot.

“We have a plan to make sure Indonesia will be Asian champions within five years and in the World League within 15 years,” he said. “Then our national team will be an Asian Tiger.

“Do you know why Malaysia is so good? Because they have professional management – and lots of money. There used to be money for sport when gambling was legal in Indonesia.”

The State-run lottery was abolished during the Soeharto era following pressure from Islamic groups.

Arema gets its financial support from a local tobacco manufacturer; in the politically correct West cigarette sponsorship for sport is taboo.

Peni was talking during a trip to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. Although the country has little more than four million people, the All Blacks rank number one in the International Rugby Board’s world list.

The Rugby World Cup will be played in NZ next year. Despite the domination of rugby, Wellington’s Phoenix soccer team has become the best in the country, competing internationally.

Being indifferent to sport in NZ is like being unable to talk Javanese in Java. The personable Peni was able to walk in both camps.

During his week in Wellington, where Peni headed a group of high school principals keen to develop close ties with NZ schools, the mayor took time out to check the city’s extensive sporting facilities provided by local government.

“When I was a kid in Kediri we had to play with a plastic bal,” said Peni. He’s no sofa barracker abusing referees while waving a TV channel changer at the screen.

For 21 years he played ‘the beautiful game’, as they say in Brazil, mainly as a striker. The mayor is a little lad and must have been a nimble sportsman to survive against the big boys. When not on the field he lectured in civil administration at the former Malang teacher’s college, now the University of Malang

Now he’s 64 but looks 50, proof sport can do magic things for a man’s well-being.

During his tour Peni came across two teams of seven year olds training during their holidays. They were practising on outdoor and indoor grounds, supervised by university students.

The contrast with most Indonesian cities was stark. Kampong residents will be familiar with the everyday sight of barefoot kids turning bitumen into soccer grounds, piles of shoes pegging out the goal posts.

However talented, the wannabe Maradonas will be struggling without boots and the chance to train on grass in a properly marked pitch with skilled adult direction.

“I agree facilities have to be improved,” said Peni. When reminded that a sports ground in the Malang suburb of Sawojajar is now the site of a petrol station he said nothing could be done because the land was privately owned.

“Football is egalitarian,” said Peni, watching little Kiwis dribble balls round plastic cones, then shoot for goal, doing their best to punch holes in the net.

“Anyone and everyone can play. We need talent scouts out in the regions looking for the next generation of players. We need professional quality coaches.”

Did this mean importing players and coaches from overseas? Now we’re talking serious money when the price of a top player is about equal to an aircraft carrier. Well, yes, but Peni wasn’t about to shout that from the stands to partisan crowds, not so crazy that they want to pay more tax.

“We’re nationalists. I want Malang to be Indonesia’s education city where we can exchange teachers and students – and ideas on improving sport in Indonesia.” And the cash?

“We need commitment, particularly from the national government.”

(First published in The Jakarta Post 20 April 2010)



Anonymous said...

火辣歐美女優 777美女dvd影片無碼 666美女 美女人影 性美女 熱辣美女 美女漫畫 免費性感美女影片 洋妞美女圖 日本浣腸排泄美女 美女試看 找美女 美女報時器 美女看片 歐美美女圖 加入會員送點視訊辣妹秀 ut聊天辣妹 showlive影音視訊辣妹聊天網 live視訊辣妹 辣妹交友視訊 辣妹比基尼 辣妹情色貼圖 辣妹寫真貼圖 辣妹內衣 辣妹貼圖偷拍 辣妹高潮 辣妹視訊館 辣妹視訊短片 辣妹裸體影片 辣妹裸體照 辣妹露胸部 辣妹脫衣影片 辣妹相簿 辣妹的裸體 辣妹牆 正妹,辣妹性交 歐朋辣妹寫真穿邦 歐朋電視台辣妹寫真影片 歐朋電視辣妹總動員方 桃園中元普渡鋼管辣妹秀 本土辣妹貼圖 本土辣妹鋼管秀 本土自拍辣妹 會動的性感辣妹影片 日本性感辣妹 日本辣妹自拍 成人視訊辣妹秀 情色辣妹貼圖 性感人妻辣妹自拍 性感辣妹免費影片 性感辣妹視訊網 性感辣妹裸照 性感美女辣妹 巨乳辣妹視訊影片 巨乳辣妹裸體

Jake said...

I’m very glad that a writer like you invests your time in a meaningful and useful way in which you share your knowledge with the people around you especially us bloggers. I will continue reading your post for it tackles different issues in our society that keeps me interested and go on reading the rest of your articles. This certain article talk about the current issues that is interesting in nature. I salute you for writing informative post and sharing your wisdom. Kudos!

College Dating

Abdusselam Bitiren said...

joann fabrics coupons
joann coupon Finance Blog