Suara Denpasar- Persebaya management put up resistance after a letter from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) appeared.
In the letter, Persebaya Surabaya’s home ground, namely the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (GBT), must be sterile in preparation for the U-17 World Cup.
As a result, the Persebaya Surabaya vs Arema FC East Java derby match is threatened with being held outside GBT.
Persebaya had to be evicted from their home turf when they hosted a club that had been considered Bajul Ijo’s rival, namely Arema FC.
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So how will Persebaya Surabaya management respond, whose squad is threatened with expulsion from GBT?
Persebaya management issued a strong protest, especially since this match had been prepared for a long time and Bonek had been waiting for it to be held at GBT.
The following is the complete attitude of Persebay Surabaya management which was uploaded on the official Persebaya.id page. Here are the details:
‘Preparations for the Persebaya vs Arema FC match are half way through. Thank God it went smoothly. Starting from coordination meetings with the Surabaya police to positive Bonek campaign actions. Everything so that the match at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (GBT) on September 23 will be safe and smooth.
Suddenly a letter from the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) appeared stating that the GBT must be sterile until the end of the U-17 World Cup in early December. The reason is that GBT and also the other stadiums which are the venues for the U-17 World Cup must be renovated. What renovation? Unclear! When the renovations will start is also not stated in the letter. Strange!
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The PUPR letter was dated September 15 and took effect immediately on the same day. In fact, Persis Solo can still host PSIS Semarang at the Manahan Stadium on September 16.
The U-17 World Cup will be held from 10 November to 2 December 2023. GBT is one of the venues along with Manahan (Solo), Si Jalak Harupat (Bandung), and Newsdelivers.com International Stadium (JIS). This means that there are still more than 50 days until kick-off. Even if there is something that needs to be renovated, there is still enough time.
GBT was not chosen as the venue for the semifinals and final. However, the stadium that is the pride of Surabaya residents is the best among other U-17 World Cup venues. The results of the risk assessment at the National Police Headquarters on March 3 2023 gave a score of 89.02 percent. Very good! This means that GBT can become a match venue with 100 percent audience capacity.
FIFA’s team inspection on August 29 also confirmed GBT’s readiness as a venue for the U-17 World Cup. The presentation from security, media, hospitality and field quality aspects confirmed that GBT was fine. Very ready to be the host for the Indonesian national team competing in the U-17 World Cup. Even if additional renovations need to be made, they are minor. Just small things to tidy things up. It doesn’t take long and can be done when Persebaya is not playing at GBT.
So, why does GBT have to be sterilized two months before the kick-off of the U-17 World Cup? This is like forcing Persebaya to be expelled from Surabaya. The very sudden issuance of the PUPR letter caused the status of the Persebaya vs Arema FC match to be in limbo. In fact, once again, preparations are more than half way there. The match cannot be canceled immediately.
The government, PSSI and PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB) as Liga 1 operators must be wise. The GBT renovation plan as stated in the PUPR letter is really unclear. Timeline and also renovation objects. The renovation agenda should be in sync with Persebaya’s home match schedule. Don’t just because the agenda is unclear, Persebaya and Bonek become victims.
The U-17 World Cup will only last three weeks. Meanwhile, Persebaya and Bonek will remain as the pride of Surabaya residents. One Guts, WANI!!!. ***