Southeast Asia Indonesia

Liga 1 Teams Flock to Special Region of Yogyakarta for League Restart

Krishna Sadhana

Football Tribe SEA Editor


With the 2020 edition of the Liga 1 resuming this October, the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI) are planning to have the remainder of the league being centralized within the island of Java to minimize travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This means that 6 Liga 1 teams are forced to leave their home stadiums and hold home games within Java, as they were based outside the island. The six clubs are Perisraja Banda Aceh from the island of Sumatra, Kalimantan clubs PS Barito Putera and Borneo FC, South Sulawesi-based PSM Makassar, defending league champions Bali United, and Papua-based Persipura Jayapura, who, prior to the suspension of the Indonesian leagues due to the pandemic, has already held home games in North Sulawesi’s Klabat Stadium.

The PSSI are offering the 6 clubs the option to play their home games at the Special Region of Yogyakarta. The region itself has 3 stadiums – Maguwoharjo Stadium in Sleman, Sultan Agung Stadium in Bantul, and the newly-renovated Mandala Krida Stadium in Yogyakarta. The Maguwoharjo is the home stadium of Liga 1 side PS Sleman, while the Sultan Agung’s original tenants are Liga 3 outfit Persiba Bantul. Last but not least PSIM Yogyakarta of Liga 2 are the team that currently calls the Mandala Krida as their home.

And according to detikSport, PSS have announced their willingness to allow other Liga 1 teams to hold home games at their stadium.

“Actually since the start of the league suspension due to COVID-19, we have coordinated with the stadium management in regards of stadium upkeep. Everything is ready and alright. The stadium’s facilities are also in perfect condition,” said PSS chief match organizer Tri Mulyanta on Wednesday.

“All that we need are the necessary documents from both the league and the federation to hold games here,” Tri continued.

So far out of the 6 teams, two have confirmed their decision to hold their home games at the Maguwoharjo – Persiraja and Borneo. The PSS match organizing committee are also open for more teams to hold their games in Sleman, as four teams have yet to make a decision in this regard.

Speaking to detikSport, Tri revealed that the Maguwoharjo is 90% ready to hold a Liga 1 game and the appropriate safety gear such as disinfectants and protective clothing items are also being prepared.

Meanwhile, the PSIM match organizing committee have expressed their enthusiasm at the prospect of Liga 1 games being held at the Mandala Krida.

“We are more than happy to welcome Liga 1 teams to the Mandala Krida. We’re fully supportive in terms of preparations and we will hold discussions with any Liga 1 team should they wish to hold games here,” said PSIM chief match organizer Wendi Umar to detikSport on Friday.

Wendi so far expressed that no other teams have contacted them in regards of using the Mandala Krida for their home games, but they are open for discussions.

“We’re still waiting for the manager meeting on July 17th,” said Wendi, “From the information that we received, PSM might hold their home games at the Sultan Agung in Bantul.”

Like the Maguwoharjo, Wendi revealed that the Mandala Krida have been gearing up for Liga 1 matches, with the appropriate health and safety gear available. The only issue that the Mandala Krida has is the lack of floodlights for evening matches, but Wendi hoped that everything will be sorted out before the 2020 Liga 1 season resumes on October 1st.