As the 14th Euro 2012 soccer championship kicks off late Friday in Jakarta, residents can choose various venues at which to indulge in one of Europe’s biggest sporting events.
Sixteen soccer nations from across the continent will battle to become the victor of Europe's most celebrated soccer event, which will last from Friday through July 1 in both Poland and the Ukraine.
It is estimated that millions of Indonesian viewers will watch the matches on local television channel RCTI over the coming 24 days in their homes, and at cafes, hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, movie theaters and at neighborhood gatherings.
The first match, which will start after the opening ceremony at 9 p.m. Jakarta time, will see the 2004 champions Greece take on one of the host squads, Poland.
RCTI, which gained the official license to broadcast Euro 2012, will air both the opening ceremony and the first match before dozens of soccer fans at a communal screening, locally known as nonton bareng, at Cilandak Town Square in Cilandak, South Jakarta.
Amanda Afiantari, a 24-year-old student at the University of Indonesia, told The Jakarta Post that she was not too enthusiastic about watching the first match, as it was between “two underdogs”.
She added, however, that she would love to watch the match between her favorite team, the Netherlands, and Denmark on Saturday evening.
“I supported the Netherlands two years ago in the World Cup final against Spain and this time I will cheer for them again,” she said, adding that she and her friends plan to watch Saturday’s match together at the Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta.
Irvan Setyanugraha, 25, who works at state-owned bank BRI, aims to watch the opening match at home, but plans to watch Sunday’s match between soccer giants Spain, the defending champions, and Italy with his friends.
“I think we will go to the nonton bareng event at the BlitzMegaplex cinema because they usually offer a 3D-show,” he said.
The movie theater, in cooperation with RCTI, has scheduled several communal screening events during the month-long championship.
Ticket prices for the screenings range from Rp 50,000 (US$5.3) for the matches during group stages, Rp 75,000 for the matches to decide the group winners and the semi-finals, and Rp 100,000 for the final. (asa)