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Jakarta Post

AFL in Indonesia: Building solidarity among Australians and Indonesians during the pandemic

  • Edan Runge

    The Jakarta Post

Melbourne, Australia   /   Sun, February 28, 2021   /  06:19 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Jack Ahearn catches the AFL football while playing for the Bali Geckos.(Courtesy of Bali Geckos/-)

While soccer is Indonesia's most popular sport, not many Indonesians are aware of other types of football, though they are played in the stadiums of one of Indonesia’s closest neighbors: Australia. Australian Rules Football (AFL) is played on an oval field almost twice as long as a soccer pitch, with four goalposts at each end. The aim of the game, during which players can kick and handpass the ball to each other, as well as tackle their opponents who have the ball, is to kick as many goals through the two middle goalposts as possible. While AFL is considered “Australia’s game”, Aussies living in Indonesia are sharing the sport throughout Southeast Asia and helping local communities as they play. In 1995, a group of Australian expats were sitting in a Jakarta pub when they had an idea that would change their lives in Indonesia. “It was a few guy...