Football Tribe SEA Editor
If you’re a football fan in Indonesia who has been following the sport throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, the name Kurnia Meiga may sound very familiar to you. The goalkeeper was an integral part of that 2009-10 Arema FC team that won the Indonesian top flight and has become an ever-present figure within the Singo Edan lineup ever since. Meiga’s prowess between the sticks for Arema has earned him call-ups to the Indonesia national team, a testament of his status of being one of Indonesia’s best shot-stoppers.
However, Meiga’s ascendency came to a screeching halt during the 2017 Liga 1 season, when he was suddenly struck down by a mysterious illness. The illness, which allegedly affected Meiga’s vision, kept the goalie out of action for a good few years, leaving Arema scrambling to find a proper replacement for his sizable boots and gloves. The Singo Edan currently has Kurniawan Kartika Ajie and Utam Rusdiana within their books, both of them relatively young and talented goalkeepers, however they have yet to reach the heights that Meiga had during his prime. Meiga’s presence has been surely missed by both Arema and their devoted Aremania fans, all of them anxious to wait for Meiga’s return to the sport with each social media update that the goalkeeper posted.
And on Tuesday, Meiga hinted that he might be making a comeback to football after being away for three years. Appearing in the “Hanif & Rendy Show” on YouTube, Meiga spoke with fellow footballers Hanif Sjahbandi and Rendy Juliansyah about his intention of returning to the sport after his illness-induced hiatus. Speaking frankly about his career to the two, Meiga shared his experiences during his hiatus, explaining that he has been training daily to keep himself in shape despite being absent from a competitive match for three years. Throughout his absence, Meiga’s position within the Indonesia national team was taken over by his good friend Andritany Ardhiyasa of Persija Jakarta while both Kurniawan and Utam are competing for that number one goalkeeper position in Arema.
During the 19 minute-long online interview, Meiga dropped subtle hints that he might not return to Arema for his comeback.
“It’s a surprise. God be willing that there will be good news,” Meiga said, responding to questions from Hanif regarding his plans of making a comeback, before startling his former Arema teammate with, “Who knows, I might be a friend or a foe later on.”
Meiga’s last competitive match was on August 23rd 2017, representing Arema in a match against Barito Putera in the 2017 Liga 1 season.