Football Tribe SEA Editor
Liga 1 club PS TIRA-Persikabo have announced their intentions of changing their name yet again for the upcoming 2020 season. However, instead of rebranding themselves yet again with a new name, the Indonesian Army-backed club have decided to revert their name back to Persikabo Kabupaten Bogor, with the name belonging to one of the two clubs that merged together prior to the 2019 Liga 1 season to form TIRA-Persikabo.
Rhendie Arindra, the Director of Business Development of TIRA-Persikabo, told Jawa Pos that the plan to revert back to Persikabo was a result of discussions amongst the club hierarchy as well as input from the club’s supporters. However the plan has yet to reach the administrative phase, meaning that it may still be subjected to change.
“We’ll discuss about the name change plan in a more serious manner on January 8th,” Rhendie told Jawa Pos.
Rhendie then went on to reveal that business and marketing issues are one of the contributing factors behind the name change plan. Rhendie voiced the sentiments echoed by TIRA-Persikabo’s higher ups that the name Persikabo would make the club more marketable amongst the people of Bogor Regency and its surrounding areas as they have associated themselves with the original Persikabo team since its formation. After all, it was local supporter groups such as the Kabomania and the Ultras Persikabo Curva Sud (UPCS) who had spent their time and money coming to the Pakansari Stadium to see the Laskar Padjajaran play. These supporter groups had initially supported the original Persikabo, but then threw their support behind TIRA-Persikabo albeit rather reluctantly after their beloved team was absorbed by the Indonesian Army-owned PS TIRA. TIRA-Persikabo’s higher ups had realized the presence of this aura of reluctance within the community, hence the plan to remove the “TIRA” from the club’s name in order to avoid further alienation with the local Bogor Regency community.
Along with the name change, there are plans to change the club logo as well. The current TIRA-Persikabo logo has both the logo of the Indonesian Army and the original Persikabo, and the TIRA-Persikabo management plans to restore the logo back into the original Persikabo logo in future merchandises and media. However, Rhendie reveals that in order for the plan to come to fruition, it must be approved by the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI) in their annual Congress at the end of January. Should the plan is approved by the TIRA-Persikabo higher ups, it’ll then be submitted to the PSSI for approval during this month’s Congress for approval.
Despite the plan to revert the club name back to Persikabo, Rhendie stressed that the involvement of the Indonesian Army with the club won’t stop. The squad for next season will be once again a combination of Army members and Bogor’s finest footballing talents, along with a few other players from other regions as well as foreigners. So far TIRA-Persikabo have retained the service of former Chonburi winger Ciro Alves, with Tajik international Khurshed Beknazarov, Cameroonian Louise Essengue Parfait, and former Paris Saint-Germain, Hanoi FC, and Persela Lamongan striker Loris Arnaud being shown the door. The Laskar Padjajaran are also planning to bring in Silvio Escobar, who had just received his Indonesian citizenship.
Should this name change plan come into fruition, it’ll be the 5th time that TIRA-Persikabo have changed their name. Initially formed in 2015 during the FIFA suspension of Indonesian football as PS TNI, the football team of the Indonesian Army, the club utilizes a combination of PSMS Medan players and members of the Army for the 2015 General Sudirman Cup, before ending their association with PSMS after the tournament and buying out Persiram Raja Ampat’s playing license in order to play in the 2016 Indonesia Soccer Championship A. Once the FIFA suspension ended, the club then played in their PS TNI incarnation in the 2017 Liga 1 season, using the Pakansari as their home base. The 2018 Liga 1 season saw them move to Bantul in Yogyakarta and change their name to PS TIRA, which stands for Tentara Indonesia dan Rakyat (the Indonesian Soldiers and the People). Finally in 2019, the club decided to merge their resources with financially stricken Liga 3 side Persikabo Kabupaten Bogor, who had a strong support within the local community but little to no resource at all that compliments PS TIRA’s lack of support within the local community and wealth of resources. The merger meant that the club returned to their home at Pakansari Stadium, where they played at ever since.