2011
11.23

I am Glad Indonesia Lost

Did you watch the SEA Games Football final match between Indonesia and Malaysia on Monday (21st Nov 2011) night? I did. Although I felt I would be a little bit happier if Indonesia won, but I know that it would be best if we lost the match.

And why would you think like that, you might ask. Well, I think we (Indonesians) have many serious problems that need to be addressed.

1. The Supporters

We are rowdy, childish, deluded and lack of sportsmanship. We prefer to jeer the opponents rather than to cheer our own team. We were drowning in euphoria when we won the previous matches. We thought our footballers were so good; they deserve a place in elite leagues in Europe. We were so high, that it felt really hurt to taste a defeat.

And oh boy, how do we react to a defeat. We just can’t take it when we lost, do we? We would do unsportsmanlike behaviors to cover our shame, pain and to vent our anger. We would do things like singing our national anthem out loud, although we didn’t win the game. So loud, it is effectively drowning out the opponent’s national anthem that is being played. We really can’t show respect to the winning team, can we?

To make the matter worse, we have a bunchthrong of cheapskates that didn’t buy the ticket, yet forcing themselves into the stadium by breaking the gate. I just couldn’t comprehend why did they do that. If you didn’t buy the ticket, go find a nice place to watch the game. Find cafe that’s showing the match in big screen. I believe many Wartegs, Warungs (street food vendor) have TV and is definitely showing the game. Instead, they choose to damage a public property, tussle with each other, and possibly endanger themselves and other spectators in the stadium.

Update: Two supporters died in stampede. Sigh, when will we learn?. Do we need to go through Indonesia’s own Hillsborough Disaster?

2. The Players

I think we are not good enough to win the game. We should feel lucky because Malaysia squandered so many good chances to score.
Seriously, long balls? Our players may have the speed, but they didn’t have the height. It is more difficult to control a lob pass than low pass. We already made the mistake in AFF final. Why repeat the same mistake here?

We must graciously admit Malaysia did play better, their through-passes were dangerous, and their counter-attacks threatened Indonesian goals so many times. Why can’t we play more like them? It is proven successful, and I must admit it is more beautiful to watch.

And please stop blaming the referee. Look hard again on how we played. How was our passes compared to Malaysian’s? How was our off-the-ball movements? How the players positioned themselves? Let’s focus to our own weaknesses instead of focusing to others’ weaknesses.

3. The Government

The only way to improve our country’s football quality is by fixing the quality of our domestic league. Yet, we are taking shortcuts. Instead of revamping the leagues, build and promote football academies, we took many players with Indonesian ancestry from European leagues into our team and hoping that it would auto-magically work. Sadly, these players were not even the first-team back in Europe.
Stop taking shortcuts! Improve the stadium quality. Improve the field quality. Improve the supporters’ culture. Improve the safety measure!

Look at what Britain did to regulate their football. They used to have hooligans and mass fights after the game. Look where they are now. Look how much the football teams contribute to Britain’s economy. No, no, no. We don’t need to send useless members of DPR there, we already have internet. Almost everything is available in internet. We can always research what we need there.

Update: Apparently PSSI has found back their sanity. Now they realized that naturalizing foreign-born Indonesians doesn’t work. What do you expect for such an instant approach?

Conclusion

Now that we lost the match, it’s time to look back in the mirror and reflect why did we lose? Did we play badly? Did the opponent play better? Don’t let emotion clouds your judgement. Be honest with yourself.

I know we are sad, and some of us is angry. But we should stop being angry because angry is a sign of weakness. We have a lot of things to improve, our football quality, our sportsmanship and our graciousness to defeat.

I’ve mentioned before about Stages of Grief before. So let’s move on from our stages of grief, and start plotting on how Indonesia can play the Beautiful Game, beautifully.

Thanks for reading my rant till the end :D.

Image taken from: The News

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