Indonesia to face Everton in Java cup
Marouane Fellaini. AP/Tatan SyuflanaThe Indonesian soccer team will face the English Premier League club, Everton FC, in the inaugural Java Cup soccer exhibition tournament in Jakarta in late July.
Besides Everton, which finished seventh in the last Premier League season, the FIFA-approved annual tournament will also feature Turkey’s Galatasaray soccer club and Malaysia’s national team.
Liga Primer Indonesia Sportindo (LPIS), the official organizer for the Indonesian Soccer Association’s (PSSI) Indonesian Premier League, will officially hold the four-day tournament.
LPIS vice president for marketing and business development Stefan Leitz said that the cup would kick off several tournaments and activities in the future, which would support LPIS’s strategy in developing Indonesian soccer.
“This year [we will have] Everton and Galatasaray. The idea is to invite more clubs from Europe [in the future],” Leitz told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday on the sidelines of the cup’s press conference in Jakarta.
“We’ve already sent direct requests for some more clubs [for future cup events], but now we want to focus on this year,” he said, adding that more sponsors were needed to organize bigger cup events in
Visiting Jakarta for the first time, Everton’s midfielder Marouane Fellaini said that he was happy to be able to play before Indonesian crowds.
“I’m happy to play all three teams with Everton in the upcoming Java Cup.
“I really hope that the matches will give something to Indonesian soccer and that all people can come to see us playing,” said the Belgian through a translator, but added that he did not know much about Indonesian soccer.
Indonesian team coach Aji Santoso said that he would deploy more under-20 players and several senior players from Indonesian Premier League and Indonesian Super League, a rival league.
“I need to put more under-20 players on the pitch because the tournament will be a good stage for them in shaping their skills and mental qualities. These young players are expected to shine in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games [SEA Games] in Myanmar,” he said, adding that he would also need up to eight senior players to solidify his team’s performance.
PSSI secretary-general Tri Gustoro said that he hoped the tournament could boost Indonesian players’ quality in future international events.
“Indonesia will face Everton in the first day’s match, and then the Malaysian team will face Galatsaray on the second day. The losers of those matches will play each other on the third day, and winners will play each other on the final day,” said Tri.
Details of ticket sales will be given later as organizers are still seeking more sponsors and contracts with television stations to broadcast the matches live.