In previous articles, we have read about history of basketball in Indonesia. Now, we will see about another sport which is also considered as one of the most popular sports in the world. That is football.
Indonesians are crazy about sports, especially football. Football, like badminton in Indonesia, is one of the most favorite sports among Indonesians. Here are some reasons why Indonesians love football so much.
1. Simple Equipment
To play football you only need to have a ball, some space, and a number of friends. You don’t even need to be worried if you don’t have any football shoes. Without those pair of shoes you still can run, dribble, pass, and of course, shoot the ball.
Football which is also known as soccer for some Indonesians, is very accessible. For example, soccer-balls are easy to find in Indonesia. Whether you look for a soccer-ball made of plastic or a ball made of leather which is usually played by pro football players, all of those kinds of soccer-balls are available in many stores and sport centers around Indonesia.
2. Simple Rules
In a football game you won’t find any complicated rules. The main objective is to score as many goals as possible. You can use almost every parts of your body – foot, head, chest, even your back – to pass the ball and to score the goal.
You can play either a 3-vs-3 match or a full-team-11-vs-11 match. Usually, in an official match, we need a goalkeeper to guard each goal post, but it is optional if we play the game just for fun.
3. Anywhere, Anytime
Officially, a football match is played on a rectangular field with two goals planted at the center of each goal-line. However, if you don’t have access to a large field, it is still possible to play football in any place around you. You can play football in a lawn, a school yard, an alley, or on the beach. Football also can be played on the summer heat or on a rainy day. Moreover, you can play football in the morning, in the evening, or even at night.
4. No Age Limit
Playing football is not limited by age. Whether you are a 3-year-old kid or a 40-year-old man you are allowed to play football. That is why football becomes one of the most popular sports for children in Indonesia.
In football there are academies and associations which facilitates kids and teenagers to prepare them to be professional football players. As they are ready to be professional, they will be offered a contract and their dream to be a pro player will come true.
5. For All Genders
Football can be played by any gender – male or female. It is true that men’s football is still more popular than women’s. However, nowadays women’s football is gaining more and more attention and popularity, including in Indonesia.
As we know, Indonesia Women’s Super League (Liga 1 Putri) was held for the first time by Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) on last October 2019. This proves us that Indonesia, through PSSI, is started to be serious to build women’s football in Indonesia.
6. No Perfect Body Needed
To play football you don’t need to have a tall or big body. Unlike in basketball or rugby, in football, though you are an Indonesian with 165 cm tall only or maybe lower than that, you still can play football, as long as you can move and kick the ball. Even if you have a handicap, you still can play this beautiful game, as long as you have passion and energy to compete with your teammates and opponents.
7. Football Unites Us All
As one of the most popular sports in Indonesia, football does make rivalries. Yet, at the same time it can unite people all over the world. Here, in Indonesia, we have many club rivalries. One of the most intense club rivalries involve two biggest and most popular clubs in Indonesia: Persija Jakarta and Persib Bandung.
Nevertheless, all of those rivalries somehow are gone every time the Indonesians watch the Indonesia National Football Team play. There is no more Jakmania (Persija supporters), Bobotoh (Persib supporters), or any other club supporters. All of those fans blend into one unity under one banner: the Indonesia National Team supporters.