Southeast Asia Indonesia

Crowd Trouble Caps Off Miserable Evening for Persebaya

Persebaya Surabaya were faced with the prospect of paying heavy fines and being sanctioned after their 2022/23 Liga 1 Indonesia Matchweek 10 game ended in complete farce on Thursday night. Hosting RANS Nusantara FC at the Gelora Delta Stadium in Sidoarjo, the Bajul Ijo were beaten 2-1 thanks to a late Edo Febriansah goal, which led to angry Persebaya fans to storm the Gelora Delta pitch, damaging the stadium’s infrastructure in the process.

As the Gelora Bung Tomo was being used by the Indonesia U-20 national team for their AFC U-20 Asian Cup qualifiers, Persebaya had to use Deltras FC’s Gelora Delta for their home match against RANS Nusantara on Thursday. The Gelora Delta was a mere 50 minute drive from Surabaya and coupled with the good relationship between Persebaya and Deltras fans, the Bajul Ijo supporters were welcomed warmly into Sidoarjo and made the stadium a home away from home.

Aji Santoso’s Persebaya had lost both of their previous two games and were under immense pressure as they found themselves in the lower half of the league table. However, Sho Yamamoto’s 28th minute goal gave Persebaya hope that they would end this decline in form.

Unfortunately, RANS Nusantara mounted a superb comeback in the second half and turned the game in their favor, with Edo equalizing in the 64th minute before scoring the winner in the 89th minute, condemning Persebaya to their third consecutive defeat.

Once the full-time whistle had been blown, angry Persebaya fans began to invade the pitch in protest towards their club’s slump in form. They also question the club management’s decision in letting go their best performers from last season and their inability to secure adequate replacements, as well as demanding the exits of head coach Aji, team manager Yahya Hasan Alkatiri, and club president Azrul Ananda.

During their pitch invasion, the furious Persebaya fans damaged a number of Gelora Delta’s facilities, such as adboards, safety railings, and the substitutes’ bench.

Realizing the gravity of their actions, a number of Persebaya fans immediately met up with representatives of Deltras fans at their headquarters to apologize for their actions, which the Deltras fans thankfully accepted.

Akhmad Hadian Lukita, the general director of PT Liga Indonesia Baru (PT LIB), could not hide his anger over the incident.

“Shameful,” Akhmad said, as quoted from CNN Indonesia, adding that the sanctions that Persebaya would inevitably face would be decided by the Football Federation of Indonesia (PSSI)’s Disciplinary Committee.

Embattled Persebaya head coach Aji, in his post-match press conference, stated that he will take full responsibility of the RANS Nusantara defeat, stating that the loss was purely his fault and he must bear the consequences that comes with it, either from the Persebaya management or from the fans themselves.

The Sidoarjo Regency government has also filed an ultimatum for Persebaya to fix the Gelora Delta as soon as possible, as Deltras are still using the stadium for their Liga 2 Indonesia games this season.