Yesterday’s league match between Persija Jakarta and Bali United came to an abrupt end as rowdy Bali United supporters repeatedly set off flares and firecrackers in the stands, leaving trails of fire and thick smoke clouds in their wake.
The match, which was dramatically played out at Gianyar’s I Wayan Dipta stadium, had to be stopped several times due to disruptive behaviour and jeering from rowdy fans. According to local media, the unruly behaviour was a reaction to the withdrawal of Bali United coach Widodo Cahyono Putro. Reportedly, shouts of “Widodo.Widodo.Widodo …!” echoed through the stands.
Bali United’s temporary coach Eko Purdjianto was seen kicking the grass in disgust as the ugly turn of events unfolded. He said the entire team felt let down by fans, commenting in an article by Tribun Bali, “Frankly, I know they will all be very disappointed. From the beginning I said we would fight. We were positive. In the end, the players felt disheartened. The crowd let off the flares just as our rhythm was good again.”
The match, which marks Bali United’s last home game this season, ended 1-2 in Persija’s favor, having allegedly been stopped several minutes early by referee Djumadi Effendi.
Last year’s runners up, Bali United is currently sitting in 10th spot after three successive defeats from Persipura Jayapura, Persebaya Surabaya, and PSM Makassar. They will play their last match against Bhayangkara FC at the PTIK Stadium in South Jakarta next week. Persija Jakarta heads the leaderboard with 59 points, two clear points ahead of PSM Makassar.