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31 July 2011

The Meaning of Group Stage for Indonesian Football

Ever since new Republic of Indonesia has been established, the country has never qualified into the FIFA World Cup (TM) final tournaments. As a country with millions of enthusiastic football fans, which have made football as the most popular show, it is quite ironical. Even in some editions Indonesia did not participate and withdrew due to particular reasons.

Football development in Indonesia has been intriguing. The country is struggling to build a strong characteristic that is believed to be one of key elements to success in the game's world stage. Controversies highlight almost every time when the growth is promising. Indonesia, as some global experts conclude having good football talents, should have done better.

En route Brazil 2014 Indonesia has completed the first pave toward the final tournament three years to go by eliminating Turkmenistan through, what the fifa.com writes, a seven-goal thriller making 4-3 final result at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Senayan, Jakarta. It must be a good sign after another impressive performance in the 2010 AFF Cup, despite losing to Malaysia in the final matches.

Having qualified to the group stage, it will mean a six-golden opportunity to compete with other three contries in a home-and-away system, will have a valuable meaning to show the audience about the development and the presence of Indonesia in the world football. In fact, the country used to go further in an "almost there" situation in the Mexico '86 campaign.





Apart from which teams to be paired in the first round group stage, Indonesia is going to have time to take deeper breathe than that of sound knock-off situation. Bitter experience in the South Africa 2010 qualifiers has been eventually forgotten.

Playing the best sides in the continent is very hard. Yet, it is a dream for both the squads and the fans. It must be a chalenging moment for the players to be head-to-head with global figures who defend, i.e., Korea Republic, Iran, Japan, or Australia. For the fans, it is going to be an interesting show at the stadium to watch world-class footballers.

While Brazil is still as far as its geographical location, to be among the best teams in Asia should be step ahead toward better reputation. Because football is part of people's daily topics, the group stage participation can be a medium through which glory of nation finds its momentum.

Good luck, Merah-Putih. All Indonesian football people pray the best for you...

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