Persija match to move to Cilegon
The management of the Indonesia Super League (ISL) has decided to host the next match of Persija outside Jakarta, following a brawl that led to three deaths and several injuries when the club hosted archrival Persib Bandung at Bung Karno Stadium in Central Jakarta on Sunday.
Amid the speculation that the next match of the Jakarta-based club will be postponed, the ISL management, in consultation with the Jakarta Police, decided on Wednesday that the next match against PSPS of Pekanbaru would still be held on June 3 but the venue would be changed to the Krakatau Steel Stadium in Cilegon, Banten, about 104 kilometers west of Jakarta.
“It’s [the shift of the venue] necessary to avoid a possible brawl in the future. Besides, it also symbolizes that we are still in deep grief,” Jakarta Police operations chief Sr. Comr. Agung Budi Maryanto told reporters on Wednesday.
Persija’s fans, known as Jakmania, and supporters of Persib, known as Vikings, are archrivals. Brawls are likely to happen every time the two clubs face off.
As of Wednesday, the police had questioned 18 people, including Jakmania’s coordinator, Persija members and police officers who were in charge of supervising the match, Agung said.
Denying accusations that Sunday’s incident was the result of police negligence, Agung said that the police had arrested several soccer fans who brought dangerous materials with them prior to the match.
“The Tanah Abang police precinct is still detaining six soccer fans who brought drugs, sharp objects and fireworks,” he said claiming that the police successfully managed to keep order among soccer fans inside the Bung Karno Sport Complex.
According to Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto, around 1,500 police officers from the city’s police headquarters, the Central Jakarta Police, and the Tanah Abang precinct were deployed to guard the match last Sunday.
“However, most of them were located in and around Bung Karno Stadium,” Rikwanto said.
He said that police had patrols around the entire sports complex, however, the brawl took place far from the stadium, where there were only occasional patrols.
“The brawl occurred when there were no officers passing by,” he said.
Rikwanto also said that the police might have to tighten the issuance of soccer-match permits if brawls kept occurring.
“We’ll be more selective in issuing soccer match permits in the future because, based on experience, there are soccer fans who just cannot control themselves,” he told reporters. (riz)