The Story of the U-20 World Cup Training Field Used for League Match 1

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“The appointment of Bali as the place for the fourth series seems forced. What’s wrong?”

ONENEWS.MY.ID – The rolling of the second round of Liga 1 2021/2022 was warmly welcomed by players and supporters. Unfortunately, the decision of PSSI and PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) to hold all matches in Bali has drawn controversy. Because, the Island of the Gods only has one stadium that is experienced in holding top-level matches.

After the Christmas-New Year holidays and to accommodate Indonesian national team players in the 2020 AFF Cup, Liga 1 is back this week. Three stadiums on the Island of the Gods were designated to hold matches and one for practice.

The stadiums are the Captain I Wayan Dipta Stadium, Gianyar. So far, the stadium is known as the home of Bali United. Then, I Gusti Ngurah Rai Stadium, Denpasar, which is the home of Perseden Denpasar in League 3. Then, Kompyang Sujana Stadium, Denpasar. Lastly, Samudra Stadium, Badung (special practice).

Is there something wrong with that designation? There is no! The reason is, the four places have undergone a very significant renovation because they will be used as match organizers and training grounds for the 2021 U-20 World Cup participants which will turn into 2023.

Although relatively better, the Dipta Stadium is actually not completely finished undergoing renovations. The spectator seats which are mandatory for the U-20 World Cup have not been fully installed in the east, north and south stands.

Meanwhile, the existence of Ngurah Rai Stadium and Kompyang Stadium caused controversy from many fans. The reason is, the two arenas in Denpasar are actually not intended as a place for matches. The stadium is just a training ground.

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The result is quite fatal. Having just carried out a few matches, criticism has sprung up. First, the incident when Persikabo 1973 held an official practice at night in complete darkness because the lights were not turned on at the Samudra Stadium. It is said that Laskar Padjajaran came late to the training location.

The second case happened to Persebaya Surabaya when they faced Bali United at the Ngurah Rai Stadium. Bajol Ijo played in a stadium with a very narrow dressing room and minimal facilities. In fact, it didn’t even look like a locker room in a stadium where professional club matches were played.

In addition, the quality of the live broadcast of the match is also unsatisfactory. With Ngurah Rai Stadium not having high stands, the angle of shooting by television cameras is very poor. This is very different from the Dipta Stadium which was designed for big matches.

Then, what is the reason for PSSI? Some time ago, the General Chair of PSSI, Mochamad Iriawan, said that the fourth series was held in Bali because of the request of the Bali Regional Government to increase tourist visits.

“The fourth series is likely to be held in Bali in early January (2022). The Governor of Bali (I Wayan Koster) asked there to increase tourism. There is indeed a shortage and it will be fixed in one month,” said Iwan Bule at the PSSI Office, Jakarta, at the end of November 2021, reported by Antaranews.

If non-sports considerations are the basis for PSSI, of course it is very unfortunate. The reason is, in other places there are still provinces outside Java where the stadium infrastructure is very feasible to hold Liga 1 matches.

For example, East Kalimantan. There, there are five stadiums that are experienced in holding the highest caste competitions with locations not too far away. In Samarinda, there are two stadiums, namely Palaran Stadium and Segiri Stadium. In Balikpapan, there is the Batakan Stadium. Then, in Bontang there is a Fertilizer Kaltim stable.

Apart from East Kalimantan, Papua, especially Jayapura, can also hold a proper League 1 match. Three football stadiums that have just been used for PON 2021 are very ready to welcome the participating teams. For example, Lukas Enembe Stadium, Mandala Stadium, and Barnabas Youwe Stadium.

(andri ananto/you)

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