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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old December 29th, 2009, 13:47 Thread Starter
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Football in your Asian home country

We've got a couple of posters here from different countries. Some of which we hardly ever hear of when it comes to football (India, Pakistan, Indonesia - Singapore - Thailand - whereever) but anyhow tell us what things are like - league attendences - highest paid players - attention to the local league - corruption - main clubs - main stars etc etc

Let us learn


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old December 29th, 2009, 14:35
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India:

We have an annual league called the I-league (started 2007), before that it was the National Football League, which in its latest season consists of 14 teams. The league is played from September/October to April /May.

There a few cup competitions as well:
Federation Cup, comparable to England's League Cup
Santosh Trophy, a tournament for the states
Durand Cup, one of the oldest tournaments in the world (played since 1888), comparable to the FA Cup
IFA Shield, an off-season cup competition, usually with 1-2 invited foreign clubs.

League attendances vary quite drastically, from a few 100 for some games to over 100,000 for the Calcutta derby (Mohun Bagan v East Bengal), played at the 120,000 capacity Salt Lake stadium.

I don't know much about salaries, but I would guess most get paid something comparable to a League 1 player, though some star players invariable earn more.

The local league is very popular in Bengal, Goa and to an extent Kerala, where most of the big clubs are from. Apart from that, most people couldn't care less. Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India, and even in the big cities where football is gaining ground, it's mostly the EPL (not even other European leagues).

I don't know much about corruption either, but I don't think it extends to calciopoli-style match-fixing or illegal betting. Generally, it is players/agents bribing coaches (there was a bungs scandal involving East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick). Apart from that, there are a few unsavory incidents, but probably don't have anything to do with corruption (Fransa Pax from Goa withdrew from the league and subsequently disbanded after a few poor refereeing decisions went against them 2 seasons ago).

The main clubs are the 3 clubs from Calcutta (East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting, which enjoy some of the largest fan bases in the world). The Goa clubs - Sporting Clube, Churchill Brothers, Vasco, Dempo, Salgaocar (my team!) - are supported in Goa, which is a rather small state. That aside, the other clubs don't enjoy much support, although some newly formed clubs (Pune FC, Mumbai FC, Lajong) have done a decent job of attracting fans.

The main stars are generally foreigners, mostly Brazilians and Nigerians.
Ranty Martins, Chidi Edeh, Odafe Okolie (Nigeria) Beto, Jose Barreto, Josimar, Edu (Brazil)

Here's a small list of Indians:
Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri, Shanmugam Venkatesh, Subroto Paul, Renedy Singh, Alvito D'Cunha, Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda, Joaquim Abranches, Deepak Mondal, Mahesh Gawli, Gourmangi Singh, Surkumar Singh, Abhishek Yadav.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old December 30th, 2009, 10:38 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefecito20 View Post
(Fransa Pax from Goa withdrew from the league and subsequently disbanded after a few poor refereeing decisions went against them 2 seasons ago).
Could Wenger, Fergie or Benitez do that?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefecito20
Bhaichung Bhutia
still going strong I see


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old December 30th, 2009, 12:37
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Indonesia:

Our top flight competition is called ISL (Indonesian Super League), which consisted of 18 teams playing on a home and away basis. In the past, the number of clubs in the top flight ranged from 18-36. The league used to be divided into two division, where the top four clubs in each division qualified for a group stage "Final Eight Championship Playoff." Winners of the group faced off for the championship. The reason of this division was to minimize cost of travel, because Indonesia is a large archipelago and the cost of flight from the west to the east region would be too much of a burden for the clubs.
There is also a cup competition, cheekily named Copa Indonesia
This is like England's FA Cup, where clubs from lower division participates also.

League attendances varies greatly, but i'm guessing the average attendance for the ISL is around 10.000 people. Teams from Java particularly could easily filled 20-25K stadium on their home games.

Star players could get around US$ 100-150K per year (salary + signing on fee). I think it's quite good for South East Asia level, because clubs could attract NT players from Singapore or Thailand to play here for example. The highest paid player this year are Danilo Fernando (Persisam/Brazil) and Boaz Solossa (Persipura/Indonesia).
The cheapest players come in around US$ 2-5K per year.

Football is the most popular sport here in Indonesia, and the league is very popular. We have done some desperate attempt in the past to boost our NT performance, such as sending the junior NT team to follow Baretti and Primavera competition in Italy. We are now sending a bunch of 14 year old kids to practice in Uruguay of all places..
We played the WC once as Dutch East Indies on 1938, before the country reaches its independence.. The team got hammered 0-6 by the mighty Hungary
That and our 0-0 draw against USSR in Montreal Olympics remains our biggest achievement in footballing world.. p

Our FA was founded in 1930, 15 years before the country's independence. It is widely known to be very corrupt. Even the Chairman himself is now imprisoned for corruption. And the best part is, he refused to resign, saying he could lead the FA from behind the bars..
Oh, and the FA have submitted a bid to become the World Cup host in 2018/2022..

The main clubs traditionally speaking are Persija Jakarta, Persib Bandung, PSM Makassar, Persebaya, and Arema Malang. Though, basically any team with a rich owner or a football fanatic governor is a contender of league title. (The ex-amateur teams normally have governors as their chairman of club)

Notable past players playing in the league included: Roger Milla, Mario Kempes, and Maboang Kessack..

Current foreign stars players including: Cristian Gonzales (Uruguay), Danilo Fernando (Brazil), Alberto Goncalvez (Brazil)
And some local stars are: Bambang Pamungkas, Boaz Solossa, Ponaryo Astaman, Elly Aiboy.

Oh le le, oh la la.. Ser del Barça es, el millor que hi ha!!

Last edited by totow; December 30th, 2009 at 12:48.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old December 30th, 2009, 15:25
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totow, does the Chilean striker (forgot his name) still play?? Looked like a decent player.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old December 30th, 2009, 15:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
Could Wenger, Fergie or Benitez do that?
I'd love to see Fergie try...

Although it's mostly the owners who are responsible for these shenanigans. Both Preziosi (then with Como, currently owner of Genoa) and Luciano Gaucci (Perugia) have attempted this recently in Italy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

still going strong I see
Which is a shame, because although he still is a very good player, it's sad to see that so few are coming through the ranks, especially strikers. That is mainly due to the fact that almost all clubs find it more convenient to get Brazilian of African strikers, because they are already developed and especially the Africans tend to be big and strong, unlike Bhutia and Chhetri who mainly rely on their skills and trickery. There is a guy called Baljit Singh Sahani (22 yrs) coming through at JCT, need to see how he develops though.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old December 30th, 2009, 23:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
tell us what things are like
Well I'll try although Gains would do a better job methinks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
league attendences
The best supported club in the league is definitely Melbourne Victory. Indeed when the A-League was launched the club played their home matches at Olympic Park but after moving to the much larger Telstra Dome for a match against Sydney FC, the attendances were bolstered still further so they've moved there permanently.

You've heard talk about the second Melbourne franchise, haven't you?

As for actual attendances, well, looking at this Wiki link it states that in 2006 the average Victory attendance was 27,000. Now, it has shrunk to around the early 20,000s or so. I hope there will be so much new interest with the injection of a local rivalry.

Crowds have been falling. It was similar when the J-League was introduced, wasn't it; that initial spark, everyone comes to check out the new thing, then you see those that remain. The calm, the settle.

My memory isn't the best but clubs would more often pull above 10,000 or even around 15,000, like Sydney and Adelaide, but that seems harder now. Also thinking of Perth, they did better than other clubs in certain aspects [such as attendances] but in the A-League, despite being overall an improvement, Perth Glory have disappointed on and off the pitch [if I'm not wrong].

I don't want to sound too downbeat though. This sport is nowhere near dominant in the minds of our sporting consciousness. While plenty of room for improvement, still strides have been made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post
attention to the local league
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILA View Post
There's a network in this country called Channel 7. You should see their news bulletins. Well actually you shouldn't. In the sports section, Aussie Rules dominates their focus while they might give seven seconds to the EPL.

Recently they dedicated a larger chunk of their bulletin to something football-related, but that which depicted the fans of two A-League clubs [Melbourne and Adelaide] in a negative light. It was a bad occurance indeed but typical of Channel 7 to scream out in protest.

Going further back. This network, alas, had the rights to the old NSL, for many years, and in those years abused the viewership with their woeful programming scheduling - such as shafting the highlights package to midnight.

Just All their ads of 'we just love the footy.' :rollani: God I hate these bastards. 'It's so nice to see our matches played in grounds where the fans needn't be separated by tall fences, like with soccer in Europe...' :rollani:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AusFootballFan View Post
Channel 7 even admitted they only bought the TV rights to the NSL with the intention of never televising it. The average Australian is shocked when you tell them you don't like Aussie Rules (ALF or gAyFL are two other names popular for it in WA). I'm born and bred in Australia and I despise AFL - when I tell people that their heads get into a spin because they can't understand how someone can't like the sport. But really, it's easy.
Things are different now with the A-League as all matches are broadcasted live. True that you must subscribe to pay television, but FOXTEL has really caught on and been a success in this country. I walk outside and I'm literally surrounded by satellite dishes. Often people bring it up in conversation, it's a part of their vocabulary.

The NSL and the A-League, something very important I should bring up is that for example the NSL club the Melbourne Knights was founded by Australian Croats, Croatian migrants, and this comprised a large core of their supporter base. But now with the A-League this isn't the case, I guess there's a more open feeling to the clubs so people feel more willing to show their support.

Some players you will know. Jason Culina signed for Gold Coast United which was a surprise for people, thought he would have continued in Europe. I just read that he wanted to promote a higher standard of football in Australia, and also some time ago I swear I read his wife missed their homeland.

Dwight Yorke another marquee, this time for Sydney. Did well and won the Golden Toilet Seat.

Mario Jardel. Didn't do well.

Romario. Alas the same.

Robbie Fowler is playing this season and doing really well. The team he's playing in, North Queensland, I haven't seen much of them but at the start of the season I think many people didn't know much about them - except Fowler.

Speaking of competitions, well, aside from A-League of course there's ACL. Attendances really vary. A group stage match against some no name Vietnamese team - Gach Dong Tam Long An? It doesn't make the average fan salivate. And often the clubs don't promote these matches! Or hardly at all. Not even when Melbourne met Gamba in the group stage.

It was different when Adelaide ran to the ACL final, though. Their achievements itself were something to cheer and shout about.

There was a book written in this country called "Sheilas, wogs [foreigners], and poofters," by Johnny Warren. Football had [and still has, in sections of this country] a very negative image and so idiots bandied about this image that it was some ***** sport fit only for women, foreigners and gays. lol Ridiculous but there you go. Aussie Rules, cricket - these sports are entrenched in our culture, so there's this "us against them" thing going on with some simpletons. You see it with Channel 7.

Australia desires to host the World Cup but there have been arguments because it's been said that if it goes ahead, the AFL season will have to come to a standstill. Imagine that! All the people, full of fury against the World Game! It's curious they're so threatened. AFL has captured this country far more than soccer has.

*

I see some similarities between Korea and Australia, because of course Hiddink did well with both teams in '02 and '06. Then they walked further on the Dutch path with the same man, Pim Verbeek! At least to my eyes I don't think Pim is rated all that highly by many Australian supporters. His brand of football gets results but is not the most eye-catching, and some performances were unconvincing, the result fortunate.

Well they haven't all been Dutch. During the last Asian Cup Hiddink's assistant Graham Arnold took over the reigns and failed. The group stages - a loss, a draw and a victory to narrowly escape only to taste penalty kick disappointment against the Japanese. "So, Dutch is the Australian way to go!"

Korea seem to have settled with Huh Jung-Moo, though.

Last edited by Jeffrey; December 31st, 2009 at 01:42.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old January 1st, 2010, 06:05
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Quote:
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totow, does the Chilean striker (forgot his name) still play?? Looked like a decent player.
I assumed you mean Julio Lopez, then yeah he still plays here, now in a mid-table team from Borneo, Persiba.
Another Chilean comes to mind is Ronald Fagundez, who is a left-footed skillful AMC/SS used to play for former champion Persik Kediri. Now he plays in the newly promoted rich club, Persisam.

Oh le le, oh la la.. Ser del Barça es, el millor que hi ha!!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old January 1st, 2010, 06:41
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It seems there are a lot of Chileans playing in your league, so I don't exactly know which one. I've seen him score a few nice goals though..

And why do all your clubs start with Perse- something?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old January 1st, 2010, 07:07
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Perse/Persi is short of Perserikatan which roughly translated to Association most likely.

ILA I'm not Aussie though I know quite a bit about Aus football. I'll probably write something about it later.

Seems Indonesian football has changed slightly since I stopped following it (1997-2004)

Last edited by Gains; January 1st, 2010 at 07:09. Reason: Some minor bits
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old January 1st, 2010, 12:41
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Spot on, Gains! Are you Indonesian by some chance?

So, back in the old days there were two competitions in Indonesia, one is the amateur Perserikatan (Association) competition and the other is the pro Galatama (Major League).
On 1994, our FA merged those competition together, creating the then semi-pro Liga Indonesia. Most of the former Perserikatan teams retained their names until now, such as Persija or Persik. These amateur teams have a huuge fanbase, normally larger than the pro teams because they are older and cater to the local fanatism better I guess.
Persija is an acronym, that if translated become The Association of Football Clubs in Central Jakarta. Association because Persija has a number of member clubs that is competing in their own local central Jakarta league. From these member clubs, Persija gather their team to compete in the national Perserikatan championships, against other associations.
The ex-amateur teams have changed a lot since they enter the semi-pro league 15 years ago. Persija is a legal business entity nowadays, and not just a youth organization under the Mayor of Central Jakarta. Though, they still retain their member clubs and still conducting a local league of some sort.
One more thing, Indonesian clubs now looks more like a franchise. I live in East Jakarta and we used to have this club Persijatim, but after 5 years or so of semi-pro football, the owner decided to sell 'the franchise' to Solo in central java and the name changed into Solo FC. Then a couple years ago, it is being sold again to Palembang and became Sriwijaya FC, which is the current league champion.

Oh le le, oh la la.. Ser del Barça es, el millor que hi ha!!

Last edited by totow; January 1st, 2010 at 12:50.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old January 1st, 2010, 21:39
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Sriwijaya competed in the Asian Champions League, didn't they?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old January 2nd, 2010, 01:05
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Yes, they did. And now that I remember, they also won the double (league and cup) back in 2007/08, making them the first and only side until now able to do so.. Quite impressive considering Sriwijaya were formed only in 2005.. p

Oh le le, oh la la.. Ser del Barça es, el millor que hi ha!!

Last edited by totow; January 2nd, 2010 at 01:16.
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