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Jakarta Post

Bonek, hated and loved

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 28 2010   /  11:23 am

Soccer religion: Several Persebaya Surabaya soccer club fans, locally called bonek, gather in a soccer merchandise shop in Surabaya to monitor the news following a riot after the club’s defeat in Bandung.You call me a bonek (daring hooligan)/You label me a bonek/You say you hate me/‘Cause I’m a bonek/You scold me/‘Cause I’m a bonek/Is it wrong to love me .../  (“Bonek”, sung by the late Mbah Surip)
 The song, strongly critical though it may seem, remains meaningful to the bonek, a group of fanatical fans of Surabaya’s Persebaya soccer team, particularly after their hooliganism last week. After wrecking havoc while traveling through Surakarta by train — from Surabaya to Bandung, many fans forced their way into the Bandung stadium without paying. Their unruly behavior following Persebaya’s 4-2 loss to Persib Bandung left a sour taste in nearby residents’ ...