Soccerside creators, Satrio and Kaninta, are front-runners of football culture in Indonesia. Promoting a national sport that has a unifying effect at local and national level. 

What inspired you to create Soccerside?

Satrio: For me football is not only a game. Supporters, players, clubs, national teams – all are attached to every social activity in Indonesia. Even politics and religion can affect (and be affected by) football.

In Indonesia, our enthusiasm for football is extremely high. But that is unequal with our achievement in the sport. That is why we built Soccerside. I want to make Soccerside a platform for community, supporters, clubs, or national teams to share everything related to football.

Kaninta: As an Indonesian, I am really passionate about our local football. Especially when it comes to supporting our nation. From different ethnicities, we stick together to support the national team. This situation makes me fall in love with Indonesian’s football.

Honestly, I don’t really get into other leagues outside Indonesia, but when it comes to our local game, I feel really passionate about it. For me, Indonesian football has a positive vibe, so everyone can enjoy the game.

Which culture clubs are you fans of?

N: I have admiration for an ex-footballer from Australia, Chad Gibson, who tells a great story about his local football experience through Local FC. For soccer culture, I choose Nowhere FC from New York City. These concepts are so wonderful.

S: I love Copa90, they have the best way to deliver a football story. And Black Arrow FC, for bringing different perspectives of football. I also wanted to say thank you to Kristina Cerniauskaite, an ultras photographer, for her very beautiful photos. They made me realise that I want to have a career in football media.

How important is fashion in football culture?

N: Fashion is very important in football nowadays. You not only wear the jersey of a club, there’s a vision in it, there’s a philosophy. There is a pride for everyone who wears it. You can explore the correlation of football and fashion with your own style.

How would you describe the soccer scene in Indonesia?

S: Like I said before, Indonesian people are really passionate about our football. Our love for the beautiful game is really strong. When it comes to game day, everyone is getting ready to watch it live.

There’s a famous chant that are copied to many Indonesians club and sometimes become one of our national chant:

Hari ini ku tinggalkan pekerjaan
(So today I leave my job)
Siap-siap tuk menonton pertandingan
(To get ready watching a football match)
Kata orang aku ini kesurupan
(They said I possessed by demon)
Untuk Indonesia apapun kulakukan
(For Indonesia, I’ll do everything)

This kind of thing makes the football atmosphere more intense here in Indonesia. Football is like one of our national sports. Despite our bad record in football, we still love the game!

N: When our national team play, all supporters, no matter which colour you support as a club, stand side-by-side. Rivalries are put aside, to stand together as a supporters of Indonesia. We sing our national anthem together. It gives me goosebumps. I am overwhelmed. I cry, not because I’m sad – they are tears of joy as we march as one.

How do you think it differs to the U.S. and Europe?

S: Many people around the world try to copy what happens in Europe. The massive support from ultras, the casual scene in England, the competitive game across leagues, topping the FIFA national team rankings, the media exposure, the business – and so on.

Many Indonesians try to adopt that situation here in Indonesia. Same make U.S. soccer our example in how they are developing football. We also want to make our football culture grow bigger, such as the correlation between music and art in the MLS.

But, something is different here in Indonesia. European and U.S. footballers are good at kicking the ball, here in Indonesia we are not so good at it! Whether it is a national team or a domestic club. Don’t get my words twisted. But, it seems we as a football fans can still march side by side with our pride despite the lack of achievement. Now let me ask you, how come a team with so little achievement get so many fans?

Our passion is not because of the glory, but for the love for the game and for our country. It’s like there’s a sense of belonging here. There is a part of us that stated that this club is truly ours. For the national team, it’s not only a game, it’s our fight as a nation.

What is the standard of football like in Indonesia?

S: This question is really tough. Do you believe if I told you “love is blind”? Well, you should. Because that is what I feel here. I love Indonesian football very much. But I also see that our football is not good enough. By not good enough, it means we’re not bad too.

We have so many good youngsters. But when they grow up, I don’t know why they don’t play as well as they were before. We also have a lack of discipline, both in the national team and football clubs. Our federation is really not good at all. But what can I say, I still love our game.

N: For our league, we have a lot of local football clubs from different cities and islands. But there are few teams that we call “big rivals”, whose supporters are very fanatic. We should appreciate those supporters who come to the stadium whether it’s a home game or away game, even though they are aware of a risk of serious injuries – or even death – to support their favourite team, no matter what.