I can't remember where I saw this first, on Bolasepako or Jakarta Casual, but I know I've seen it in both. Interesting take on things, in it's own way.
S-League players yearn for more passion in the stands
by Shamir Osman, Jul 08, 2010
SINGAPORE - His national team-mate and friend was ambushed, attacked and pelted with stones. But instead of reacting with anger, disgust or wishing ill on the assailants, Aleksandar Duric was jealous of the victim, Mustafic Fahrudin.
The Persija Jakarta midfielder's team bus was ambushed by rival fans, who rained stones last Friday. Mustafic was hit in the head and needed three stitches.
"I wish I would get hit by a stone thrown by an angry fan, then at least I know that there are some people here who really care about their club," Duric, who plays for S-League club Tampines Rovers, told MediaCorp last night.
"I've been here 11 years, and while I can say that the football is progressing, it is very obvious that the support is dying. At the last game against Geylang United at the Bedok Stadium on Sunday, it was so quiet I could hear the crickets," quipped the Tampines Rovers forward.
While Duric condemned the violence against Mustafic, he yearns for the passion in the stands and he is not alone.
Laughing off the incident, Mustafic told MediaCorp: "The people here in Indonesia really love their clubs. I'm very impressed, and I can't help but love it."
For Home United midfielder Isa Halim, the fanatical fans in Indonesia is a big draw.
"Noh Alam Shah showed us videos of the Arema fans, and you can really feel the home support - things like this can really rouse players on the pitch," he said.
Alam Shah and Ridhuan Muhamad play for Indonesian Super League Champions Arema Malang, and they constantly rave about the fanatical support they get.
Home's assistant coach, former Lion S Subramani, longs for the days when fans thronged the stadiums, and he was not referring to the much-vaunted Malaysia Cup era.
"When I was a player in the S-League in 1996, you hardly saw any empty seats, people were even standing at the fences, trying to peep in," he said.
"Something must be done, and it must be a whole Singapore effort - we need sponsors, better marketing, and more money to bring in quality foreign players who can light up the league," suggested Subramani. Shamir Osman