Southeast Asia Indonesia

Persija to Play Friendly with A South Korean Club This Year

Liga 1 Indonesia giants Persija Jakarta were heavily touted as Borussia Dortmund’s potential Indonesian opponent in the Germans’ upcoming Southeast Asian tour during the 2022 FIFA World Cup break, however the Macan Kemayoran have already lined up a friendly match against a South Korean side at the same time, leaving Dortmund to play Persib Bandung and Persebaya Surabaya for the Indonesian leg of their tour.

The connection between Persija head coach Thomas Doll and Dortmund was a huge reason behind the Macan Kemayoran being thuge favorites in being the one who will take on the Black-and-Yellow when they visit Indonesia this November. The last time Dortmund travelled to Indonesia back in 2007, they were being coached by Doll himself, with BVB winning 1-0 over the Indonesia national team in Jakarta thanks to a solitary Mladen Petric penalty.

NineSport, the promotor behind Dortmund’s visit to Indonesia, acknowledged this connection and tried to reach Persija in an effort to arrange a friendly between the Macan Kemayoran and Dortmund. However, Persija turned down the offer, leaving NineSport to instead invite both Persib and Persebaya to play against the 8-time Bundesliga champions.

While Doll himself prefers to see his side take on Dortmund this November, it turned out that the Persija higher-ups had already arranged a friendly match for the Macan Kemayoran at the same time, reportedly as part of the club’s 94th anniversary. Persija are set to take on a South Korean club in Jakarta, with the club in question reportedly being 2-time AFC Champions League winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

K League giants Jeonbuk and Persija have established a partnership program since 2017 which allowed the two to easily arrange a friendly match between themselves at the conclusion of the South Korean football season. The men in green are currently 2nd in the K League 1 table, five points off leaders Ulsan Hyundai, and were recently knocked out of the 2022 AFC Champions League in the semifinals at the hands of Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds. Jeonbuk boasts former Reading and Swansea City attacker Modou Barrow as their danger man, while also enlisting a number of current and former South Korean internationals such as Hong Jeong-ho, Kim Jin-su, Kim Moon-hwan, Paik Seung-ho, Cho Gue-sung, Song Min-kyu, and Moon Seon-min.