27 April 2009

Single League Format: More Problems for Indonesian Football

Indonesia has been holding football professional league for fifteen years. It is too extreme saying the league fails to produce good quality games and players. I had rather say that Indonesia is still infant in this aging professional football. The fact has proven lacking commitment to having a steady league format since it has been inaugurated in 1994/1995 season. Once upon a time Indonesian league consisted of two or three divisions according to its region. Another chance came an idea of having a collective, single league format, in which all participating clubs were in a single group of competition. The idea was brought on the basis of "ideal professional league format" in European football. The big numbers of participants were then compressed into eighteen clubs like in German Bundesliga or Italian Serie A.
Have the above mentioned format gone good in Indonesia? The answer is "not so good". The top organization of Indonesian FA (PSSI) perhaps has forgotten one significant thing: the large territorial country which consists of many seas and islands/isles. Indonesia is not a land-locked country. It is an archipelago with regions spread over and are split by the seas. It will cost much money to ravel an away game for the club from Papua to Java, from Kalimantan to Sumatera, and from Java to Sulawesi. But the FA supposes that the current league is the most ideal. Accordingly, several clubs suffer fro financial collapse, forced to sell or to loan their top players due to financial crisis. Once the problem arises, the good club will only be a dream.
What is so special about the ideal format? We can see that the single group league is the best choice for European countries because each of them is much smaller and is continental area. If they are islands, they consist of only few isles. But it will never be suitable to such topography as Indonesia. The area is too large for single format.
I am probably too early to say that the single league format has failed. But I cannot see benefits to step further. How can the players concentrate to their performance when non-technical problems evershadow them? Let us think about it, fellows.

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