A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Manila
South-East Asia is football mad, and collectively one of the largest consumers of European football* in the world. This December, it’s all about Asia though, and we’ll see all the big names in their region performing for their countries. The ASEAN Football Federation’s Suzuki Cup will commence in South-East Asia, co-hosted by Indonesia and Vietnam. The Cup has been around since 1996, originally called the Tiger Cup and come the eve of the new year, will another side be in possession of the coveted cup? In Group A, we have Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Laos. In Group B, we have Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines. Read on for a lightning quick introduction to each of the contenders.
A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, writing from Jakarta
The play by play of the recent friendly between Indonesia and Uruguay mirrors the conditions of which the Indonesian fans have been subject at the international level for their national side. They started out enthusiastic, strong and willing to commit, even managing to score first. But with every attack on their goal, be it a poor result by the national team or corruption, the more disenchanted they become. Fatigue sets in from dealing with politicians taking advantage of the most popular sport. Then the unravelling, opposition hammering at their net without defence from an adequate development system.
AFR: Have a sore throat, a high temperature and feeling exhausted? Maybe you have a World Cup fever.
A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Toronto.
We’ve all done it, stayed up late or woke up far too early during a work day just to catch that football match we’ve been waiting for. But the World Cup only comes once every four years, and late nights cheering on one’s favourite team from halfway around the world becomes the norm this month.
In Indonesia and other Asian countries, the latest live matches of the “day” are at 1:30 in the morning, the day after. With matches on nearly every night for a month, weekends and weekdays, and with at least two matches per night, most people are getting less and less sleep than usual, especially those who have work or school the next day.
So recently, Indonesian health experts (and employers) are growing concerned about the increased rates of actual fevers and fatigue-related illnesses caused by these late nights which, n most occasions, stressful and full of excitement, but also usually accompanied with cigarettes, booze, caffeine or sodas and energy drinks to stay alert during the match.
Dear Hidden Jakarta Slum Tour,
As an indonesian and a student who has spent most of her life doing development work with urban and rural underprivileged and in emergency relief in several countries, it is disgusting to see the Slumdog Millionare Hollywood trend being manifested into an appalling, undignified, profit-making experience by your company by your marketing of tours in the slum areas of Jakarta.
If what you intend to do is show rich and poor Jakartans as the same as rich and poor of other cities, there are better ways to do this.