Club in Hot Water Over Bonek Antics
Wimbo Satwiko & Candra Malik
Are clubs their supporters’ keeper? Persebaya Surabaya may be about to find out the hard way.
After the notoriously rowdy Bonek — short for bondo nekat , which is Javanese for “reckless mob” — injured civilians in Solo and did Rp 600 million ($64,000) in damage to the train that took them to Bandung, Persebaya will have to suffer the consequences.
The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) said on Monday it would take action for the damage the Bonek did during their trip to watch Persebaya play Persib Bandung at Si Jalak Harupat Stadium. Of particular interest is why they traveled to the game despite being banned from away matches for two years.
“The question is why the Bonek still went to Bandung despite the sanction. Someone has to be behind this, and the PSSI will investigate that,” PSSI chief Nurdin Halid said on Monday. “We’ll also ask Persib’s match organizer why they let Persebaya fans into the stadium. First, we have to find out if the organizer had received the disciplinary committee’s official letter on the away game ban.”
Nurdin said those found guilty would be punished.
The Bonek wreaked havoc on their way to and from Bandung over the weekend, throwing projectiles at houses and people from the train while causing injuries to police officers, journalists and bystanders. People in Solo retaliated on Sunday, throwing stones at the train.
Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Alex Bambang Riatmodjo said on Monday that six bystanders and at least 57 Bonek members had been injured in the weekend violence.
Disciplinary committee chief Hinca Pandjaitan confirmed that, according to PSSI rules, clubs are responsible for their fans’ actions. However, his committee only has the authority to examine what happens inside stadiums.
The Bonek were hit with a two-year ban on away matches on Friday. The punishment came down after one of them invaded the pitch at Pelita Jaya’s Singaperbangsa Stadium in Karawang, West Java, on Jan. 10.
They were already facing a suspended one-year away ban following a pitch invasion during an Indonesian Premier League match at Gresik United last March.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs Andi Alifian Mallarangeng urged clubs to be responsible for their fans’ behavior.
“There’s no way the Bonek could have gone to Bandung if the club didn’t give a hand,” Andi said. “I want this matter to be resolved according to the bylaws.”
In addition to the human costs, state railway operator PT KA said it suffered millions of rupiah in losses due to damage to a locomotive and train cars.
“We’re considering filing a class-action suit against Persebaya and the Surabaya city government,” PT KA’s Area VI spokesperson, Eko Budiyanto, said on Monday.
“It’s not only that we suffered material losses, but this also damaged our reputation as other trains were delayed because of the incident in Solo.”
On the field, Indonesian Super League leader Arema Malang suffered its first home defeat in a 2-1 loss to second-place Persiba Balikpapan on Sunday. Fery Ariawan scored in the 72nd and 77th minutes for Persiba, which closed to within three points of the league leader.
Dendi Santoso replied for Arema three minutes from full time.
Persitara North Jakarta drew 1-1 at home with Persiwa Wamena on Monday.
Dedy Mulyadi opened the scoring for the host in the 57th minute, with Vendri Mofu equalizing in the 70th.