Football Tribe SEA Editor
Surprising news emerged yesterday from the newly crowned 2019 Liga 1 champions, Bali United. The Gianyar-based side is reportedly seeking to host their upcoming Asian games at Bekasi’s Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium instead of their usual ground, the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium. This is because the Dipta will be closed down for renovations in the 2020 season in order to prepare the stadium for the upcoming 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
“We’re currently considering our options,” said Bali United CEO Yabes Tanuri as reported by Bola Nusantara, “It is possible that we will have to host AFC games at the Patriot in Bekasi.”
Additionally, Yabes is considering having Bali United hosting their home league games at the Ngurah Rai Stadium in downtown Denpasar, meaning a groundshare with Liga 3 side Perseden Denpasar. However, Yabes told Bola Nusantara that the Ngurah Rai didn’t meet AFC standards to hold games within the AFC competitions, forcing Serdadu Tridatu to seek other options for their Asian games.
The Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, widely regarded as one of Indonesia’s best stadiums, will be closed for all operations in February 2020 following its selection as one of the venues for the upcoming 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The renovations will be completed in November 2020, meaning that the stadium will be closed throughout the entirety of the 2020 Liga 1 season. During that time, Yabes planned to have Bali United play their home games at the Ngurah Rai Stadium on a temporary basis.
Indonesian clubs having to host their Asian games in a stadium other than their own isn’t exactly something that is uncommon. Last season, due to their Andi Mattalatta Stadium failing to meet AFC standards, PSM Makassar had to host their 2019 AFC Cup games at Bogor’s Pakansari Stadium. Indonesia’s first ever participant in the AFC Cup, PSMS Medan, had to play their games at Sriwijaya FC’s Gelora Sriwijaya Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang instead of their usual Teladan Stadium in Medan during the 2009 edition of the AFC Cup, while in 2010 and 2013, Persiwa Wamena and Persibo Bojonegoro had to use Arema FC’s Gajayana Stadium in Malang and Persis Solo’s Manahan Stadium in Solo respectively instead of their usual home stadiums of Pendidikan Stadium in Wamena and Letjen Haji Sudirman Stadium in Bojonegoro due to them failing AFC standards. Persik Kediri have also used the Manahan for their Asian games, specifically during their memorable 2007 AFC Champions League campaign. Last but not least, Persipura Jayapura have hosted their Asian games in both the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, before their own Mandala Stadium in Jayapura was deemed fit enough to hold games within the AFC competitions in 2011.