Books on Football in Indonesia

In Colombijn’s article on football in Indonesia he writes that his article is the first on football in Indonesia (Colombijn 2000). It seems impossible to find articles on ‘sport’ let alone ‘football’ in Indonesia from some of the usual sources for Indonesian studies – Indonesia, BKI, RIMA and others. In the list below is a selection of what seems to be ten important recent articles on football (sepak bola) published in Indonesian since 2008. These are books that can be used for a getting to know of football in Indonesia.

1. Anung Handoko, Sepakbola tanpa batas: city of tolerance, Yogyakarta: Kanisius, 2008. (‘soccer without limits: city of tolerance’; sounds idealistic, but could be interesting; surely a source of some juicy quotes on the uplifting power of soccer to cross borders, build communities, make people feel good)

2. Andi Muhammad Nurdin Halid, Membangun Sepakbola Indonesia Modern: Menuju industri sepakbola dan pentas dunia: visi 2020, Jakarta: PSSI, 2009. (well, this will certainly be boring; boring but necessary. Again, this will provide some wonderful and juicy quotes, this time coming from the official sources. I will use them to show the disconnect with ‘the reality of football’ on the ground. The book will be a great source for getting an understanding of the bureaucratization of the game, the order that is attempted to be applied to the practicing and modernisation of Indonesian football. I presume it will be filled with lofty and unachievable goals.)

3. Abdul Muntholib, Arema Never Die [sic], Malang: UMM Press, 2009. (well, this also looks juicy. Arema is one of Indonesia’s legendary clubs; they seem to be well-managed and professional. The supporters of course are known to be fanatical. The websites for the clubs are well-maintained. They’re proud. Malang as a city always seems to punch above its weight. In football, too. This book will be essential reading for getting to grips with the [relatively short] history of Arema.)

4. Rojil Nugroho Bayu Aji, Tionghoa Surabaya dalam Sepakbola 1915-1942 (introduction by Freek Colombijn), Yogyakarta: Ombak, 2010. (Okay, this also looks interesting, but, it is not an approach that I am particularly interested in. But, given the way that ‘the Chinese’ have been marginalised in much of Indonesia’s history, I would like to be able to have some material at hand. It seems to include material on ‘associations’, which may be ethnic-based urban social clubs.)

5. Abi Hasantoso, Andi Sahrandi, Buku putih reformasi sepak bola Indonesia, Jakarta: Gerakan Reformasi Sepak Bola Nasional Indonesia, 2010. (No doubt this will be an angry book criticizing the administration and bureaucracy of football in Indonesia. I’d hope to be able to point out that they’re both wrong. Again, this aspects of the politics of football is not my primary interest, but, it will provide necessary background and knowledge.)

6. Asep Saputra, Yosef Tor Tulis, Sepakbola Indonesia alat perjuangan bangsa: dari Soeratin hingga Nurdin Halid, 1930-2010, Jakarta: PSSI, 2010. (Another official reading of the history of football in Indonesia. Necessary context. An opportunity to get to know the idealised reading of Indonesian football. I can get to know some of the heros; no doubt there will be missing anti-heros – who I can find through talking with fans, managers, players, reading newspapers, club histories. This book is 432 pages, so, I probably won’t read it from cover to cover.)

7. Fajar Junaedi, Bonek: komunitas suporter pertama dan terbesar di Indonesia, Yogyakarta: Buku Litera, 2012. (This is of my interest. I can put it next to Arema Never Die [sic] on my virtual bookshelf. I started reading it a month or so ago, but, was disappointed by its emphasis on soccer violence and supporters in Serbia. I found this a rather odd way to be talking about Bonek. Again, I have to draw a similarity with religion: it would be like talking about Checkhov to introduce a short story by Seno. I would say they are related only by a certain (low) level. I feel it’s the author’s duty to emphasise the specificity of the Bonek supporters rather than to suggest their derivitiveness.)

8. Tjipta Lesmana, Bola politik dan politik bola: ke mana arah tendangannya? Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2013. (The introduction is rather rambling and reflective. This is certainly not an academic, research text. It is reflective observation. I can use this for more material and context building – case studies, controversies to follow up.)

Some older books:

1. Sindhunata, Bola-bola Nasib, Jakarta: Buku Kompas, 2002.

2. Wieger Poeze, Bonek: A Special Indonesian Brand of Hooligans, Diemen: InHolland University, 2005.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.