Southeast Asia Indonesia

Clubs Gear Up for Liga 1 Kick-Off

The 2022/23 Liga 1 Indonesia season is right around the corner, with three matches set to be played on July 23rd. With the start of the new season inching closer, clubs have been working hard in their final preparations for another action-packed season of domestic league football in Indonesia.

Only days after Arema FC lifted their third Piala Presiden title, the first matchweek of the 2022/23 Liga 1 season is set to take place with the first three matches being held this Saturday.

The official opening ceremony of the new season will be conducted at the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar, where defending champions Bali United will take on a star-studded Persija Jakarta side. However, the Bali United-Persija match won’t be the season opener proper – with an 8pm Western Indonesia Time kick-off, it is the latest of the three matches set to be played on Saturday.

The true opening match of this season’s Liga 1 will be played in Semarang at 3pm Western Indonesia Time, where PSIS Semarang, who had strengthened their side considerably during the off-season, are set to take on newly-promoted RANS Nusantara FC at the Jatidiri Stadium. The match is then followed by PSS Sleman hosting PSM Makassar at the Maguwoharjo Stadium at 6:15pm.

During the buildup for the new season, clubs had registered their home grounds for the season with league operators PT Liga Indonesia Baru (PT LIB). Contrary to popular expectations, Persija had decided against registering the newly-constructed Jakarta International Stadium as their home stadium for the 2022/23 season, instead opting to play at their usual Gelora Bung Karno stadium with the Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium in Bekasi serving as their alternate home ground.

Bhayangkara FC had once again relocated, this time to the Wibawa Mukti Stadium in Cikarang, Bekasi Regency, while newly-promoted Dewa United have decided to groundshare with Persita Tangerang at the Indomilk Arena.

Persib Bandung have also switched stadiums, leaving the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang, Bandung Regency, in favor of the Gelora Bandung Lautan Api in Gedebage, located closer to downtown Bandung. Whilst still registering the Si Jalak Harupat as their alternate home ground, Persib are set to return to the GBLA for the first time since the 2018 Liga 1 season.

With their own stadium still under construction at the Pantai Indah Kapuk 2 gated community, RANS Nusantara have decided to temporarily share the Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, Bogor Regency, with Persikabo 1973. This was done after the Prestige Phoenix had their request to use the Gelora Bung Karno Madya Stadium denied due to the stadium undergoing preparatory works for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

With the 2022 ASEAN Para Games set to be held at the end of this month, Persis Solo will be temporarily playing at the Moch. Soebroto Stadium in Magelang for the first few matches of the season, before the newly-promoted club moves back into the Manahan Stadium in their native Solo. PSIS will also use the Manahan in case the Mahesa Jenar were unable to use their newly-renovated Jatidiri Stadium.

Last but not least, final preparations are being done at the Gelora BJ Habibie stadium at Parepare in South Sumatra, which will serve as PSM’s temporary home ground until the conclusion of reconstruction works at the Andi Mattalatta Stadium.

A meeting discussing the upcoming Liga 1 season was held last Tuesday between the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI), PT LIB, the Indonesian Police, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The meeting was a success, citing the success of the 2022 Piala Presiden as a reason for Indonesian authorities to greenlit permissions regarding the upcoming Liga 1 season. This meant that the league will start on its pre-determined kick-off date of July 23rd.

With Bali United looking to defend their crown for a third successive seasons, the Serdadu Tridatu will be once again challenged by last season’s runners-up Persib, who retained their core from their successful 2021/22 campaign. Piala Presiden winners Arema are also seeking to win their first league title since 2009/10, while huge spending Persija and PSIS will provide more excitement to this year’s title race.