Police on hooligan alert as hundreds of Persebaya fans descend to Jakarta for PSSI Congress

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) Congress is underway today in Ancol, North Jakarta, in which the scandal-laden organization is expected to elect its new chairman.

Another discussion on the agenda is the potential reinstatement of Persebaya, Surabaya’s local football club, and 46 other clubs into Indonesia’s premier club football competition. PSSI no longer recognizes Persebaya after the club joined the Indonesian Soccer Rescue Committee (KPSI) in 2013. KPSI was an alternative football association created as a result of several clubs boycotting the PSSI for their alleged corrupt activities.

As many as 700 Persebaya supporters – nicknamed bonek – are believed to have come to Jakarta to demonstrate against the PSSI should the decision be against their club’s favor.

According to Okezone, hundreds of police officers, including riot police and mobile brigade (Brimob) officers, are on standby in Ancol to prevent any acts of hooliganism from Persebaya fans. Several officers were seen equipped with tear gas rifles.

They may have to be prepared for potential violence from boneks as the PSSI Congress this afternoon decided to not even discuss the reinstatement of Persebaya into the PSSI after all. However, bonek representatives said they would remain calm and preserve the peace in Jakarta despite the disappointing outcome.

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