Southeast Asia Indonesia

RD’s “A Dead Man Walking” Following Dismal Results

With Madura United enduring a torrid run in the second series of the 2021/22 Liga 1 Indonesia season – collecting a mere four points from a possible 15 – the Laskar Sapeh Kerrab found themselves under fire from their own supporters. An alliance of 5 Madura United supporters groups went to the club’s office in Pamekasan, Madura Island on Sunday afternoon to voice out their concerns regarding their beloved club’s abysmal form, demanding among others the sacking of head coach Rahmad Darmawan.

The alliance – consisting of the K-Conk Mania, the Trunojoyo Mania, the Taretan Dhibik, the Ultras Madura, and the Peccot Mania – voiced out three demands that the Madura United management must fulfil as soon as possible. The demands were the immediate sacking of head coach Rahmad and assistant coach Rasiman, the removal of underperforming players from the Laskar Sapeh Kerrab squad, and the removal of people associated with former manager Haruna Soemitro, who left Madura United for a position within the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI)’s Executive Committee in 2019, from the club’s management.

The supporters felt that Soemitro’s men are preventing their aspirations from being heard by the Madura United higher-ups, hence they feel that their removal is necessary for their voices to be heard by the club management.

Zia Ulhaq Abdulrahim, the general director of PT Polana Bola Madura Bersatu – the company overseeing Madura United – personally met the supporters to address their demands. For the supporters’ first demand, Zia promised that he will axe both Rahmad and Rasiman in the immediate future, rendering the two as “dead men walking” within the Madura United coaching staff.

“I would personally thank everyone who took their time to come here. This is a sign that the supporters indeed care very much for Madura United despite being unable to watch them in person at the stadium,” said Zia, as quoted from, “If the supporters want us to change both the club’s head coach and assistant coach, then so be it.”

Zia was a little bit cautious in responding to the supporters’ second demand, stating that the Madura United management must wait for the mid-season transfer window to open for them to sort out the deadwood from their squad.

It is unknown whether Zia or the Madura United club management will fulfil the supporters’ third demand.

Despite boasting the likes of Bayu Gatra, Slamet Nurcahyono, Fachrudin Aryanto, and a Brazilian trio in the form of Jaimerson Xavier, Rafael Silva, and Hugo Gomes, Madura United have been disappointing in this season’s Liga 1. With the four points that they’ve got from the second series to go with the seven points that they’ve earned from the first one, the Laskar Sapeh Kerrab are currently languishing in 13th place in the league table with 11 points, two points off the relegation zone.

Should Rahmad has his contract terminated in the near future, he will become the fourth Liga 1 head coach to lose his job this season. Previously Borneo FC had their head coach Roberto Carlos Mario Gomez unexpectedly resigning from his position, while promoted duo Persik Kediri and Persiraja Banda Aceh had sacked Joko Susilo and Hendri Susilo respectively due to their miserable performance in the league. Borneo have since replaced Mario with former Ceres-Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic, while Persik and Persiraja are still relying on Alfiat and Akhyar Ilyas respectively as their caretakers.