Indonesia Liga 1 Postponed Until 2021

With the suspension of Indonesia Liga 1 until February 2021, we won't see full stadiums in Indonesia for quite some time (image courtesy Jarrod Partridge)

After several false dawns, today came the news no sepak bola fan wanted to hear: Indonesia Liga 1 has been postponed again, this time until February 2021.

As well as Liga 1, the lower divisions Liga 2 and Liga 3 have also been postponed.

Indonesia Liga 1 Postponed Until 2020

The Indonesian FA, known as PSSI, have claimed that strict health protocols had been put in place and agreed on by all the clubs.

Such protocols consisted of teams from outside Java moving to a ‘bubble’ in Yogyakarta to play their matches, and all matches being played behind closed doors.

However, at the eleventh hour, police denied the league permission to restart, and as such, the PSSI had no choice but to suspend all competition.

‘The PSSI meeting resulted in a decision that PSSI postponed all competitions, namely Leagues 1,2 and 3 in 2020. Furthermore, the competition will start again in early 2021,’ said PSSI Acting Secretary General, Yunus Nusi.

‘PSSI will give authority to PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) as the operator of the League 1 and 2 competitions to find formulas, formats and competition systems to accommodate the PSSI decision,’ added Yunus Nusi.

At the moment it’s not clear if the 2020/21 season is cancelled, or will resume on Matchweek 4 come February.

However, with Ramadhan in April and the 2021 FIFA Under-20 World Cup slated to be played in Indonesia from 20 May to 12 June 2021, at all the major club stadiums in Indonesia, it seems unlikely that there would be room on the calendar to accommodate almost a full season.

With the suspension of Indonesia Liga 1 until February 2021, we won’t see full stadiums in Indonesia for quite some time (image courtesy Jarrod Partridge)

It’s not unusual for the PSSI to make questionable decisions, and they seem to have done their best to lay the blame for this one on the police, but this doesn’t make things less weird.

As we’ve seen throughout South East Asia, nearly all other leagues have resumed before now, and the Malaysian League is finished already, with JDT crowned Champions for the eighth consecutive season.

Vietnam has entered their playoff series, and are playing in front of full houses without social distancing.

Granted, Covid is rife throughout the archipelago, as just yesterday 4029 cases were reported, giving an aggregate total of 400,483 cases, with 61,078 cases still active.

The common belief is that although there were to be ‘bubbles’ and games played without fans, police didn’t feel fans would stay away, and would congregate outside stadiums to cheer on their teams, which is not an uncommon practice across Indonesia.

It’s true the world game is not immune to global problems, so for now we wait, and hope for better news in February.

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