Another Season, Another Headache for Jakarta’s Pro Football Clubs

It’s a new season for the Indonesian Super League, but it’s grappling with the same old problem of trying to play matches in Jakarta. City police said on Monday that they would extend a ban on events that have the potential to attract huge crowds, including football matches, until November because of the presidential inauguration slated for next week. The ban, slapped on Persija Jakarta and Persitara North Jakarta prior to the April legislative elections, was supposed to expire on Oct. 21, the day after the inauguration. But Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Chrysnanda Dwi Laksana said the ban would not be lifted until Nov. 1. “We don’t ban matches, we’re just recommending to delay the events until November,” he said. It remains to be seen whether police fears are warranted, but Persija has two home matches during the period — against Persijap Jepara on Oct. 21 and Persela Lamongan on Oct. 24 — while Persitara is scheduled to host Persebaya Surabaya on Oct. 22 and Persik Kediri on Oct. 31. It also puts PT Liga Indonesia in a difficult position. Under Super League rules, clubs must report 14 days before a match if they fail to get a permit, or they automatically lose.

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