Football in Indonesia
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Asia Cup 2007.jpg
The Indonesian national team plays at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta
Governing bodyPSSI
National team(s)Garuda
First played1934
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Association football is the most popular sport in Indonesia, in terms of annual attendance, participation and revenue. It is played on all levels, from children to middle-aged men.[1] Liga 1, the Indonesian domestic league is popular. The national body is the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).[2] The Indonesian football league started around 1930 in the Dutch colonial era.

Indonesia Football Association

Main article: Football Association of Indonesia

The governing body is the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI).[3] PSSI organises the men's, women's, and futsal national teams, as well as the Indonesian League.[4][1]

Indonesian League System

Main article: Indonesian football league system

In 1993, PSSI combined the existing "Galatama" which was a semi-professional competition and an amateur competition "Perserikatan" (Union, Bahasa Indonesia) to be a single professional competition for football clubs, known as the Indonesian League (Liga Indonesia).[5] From 1994 to 2007, the format of the top division competition was a combination of double round-robin format and a single eliminations second round for several top teams of the table to decide the champions.[citation needed] Starting from 2008-09 season onwards, the competition format changed into a more common system that also being used in most European football leagues. The single elimination round was removed and the competition has become a full double round-robin league system.[citation needed] The name also changed into Indonesia Super League.[5] Since 2017, the top league is named Liga 1.[5]

Men's team

Main article: Indonesia national football team

On the international stage, Indonesia experienced limited success despite being the first Asian team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. In 1938, they played as the Dutch East Indies.[6] Losing 0–6 to Hungary in a then-direct knockout stage and has never qualified again since, Indonesia became the only country to play only one match in the World Cup.

In 1956, the football team played in the Summer Olympics and earned a hard-fought 0–0 draw against then footballing superpower Soviet Union, led by the legendary Lev Yashin playing under the goal for them, before losing 0–4 on the replay match. On the continental level, Indonesia won the bronze medal in the 1958 Asian Games. Indonesia's first appearance in Asian Cup was back in 1996. With a draw against Kuwait in their first match and two defeats in the following two matches against Korea Republic and the host, UAE, Indonesia finished bottom of group A with a solitary point. In 2000, they again forced a draw against Kuwait, but then lost to China and the Korea Republic.

In 2004, the national team recorded their first-ever win in the Asian Cup against Qatar, but the dreams of the nation of going to the second round were shattered due to the defeats against China and Bahrain in the following group games. Indonesia beat Bahrain in 2007 AFC Asian Cup as one of the four co-hosts but the qualification dream was again shattered after two defeats by Asian superpowers Saudi Arabia and for the third time against the Korea Republic. However, Indonesia failed to qualify to the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar after finishing bottom of Group B in the qualifiers without winning any single match.

The youth teams occasionally qualified for the AFC U-19 Championship (U-19 team) and AFC U-16 Championship (U-16 team). The U-19 team is the only Indonesian team to ever win continental-level tournament, share-winning the U-19 Championship in 1961 with Burma. The team is also the only one to qualified for a FIFA tournament under the name "Indonesia", playing in the 1979 U-20 World Cup. The country has never qualified for any FIFA tournament until the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup in which Indonesia will host, they automatically qualified as host.


Main article: List of football clubs in Indonesia

Some of the major teams include: Persija Jakarta, Persib Bandung, Persebaya Surabaya, PSM Makassar, Persita Tangerang, PSMS Medan, PSIS Semarang, Persik Kediri, Persipura Jayapura, Persiwa Wamena and Arema Malang.

Women's football

Main articles: Women's football in Indonesia and Indonesia women's national football team

The country has never qualified for any FIFA women's tournament. However, the team was ever finished as high as fourth in the AFC Women's Asian Cup; in 1977 and 1986.


Despite having a reputation as one of the most passionate fans, Indonesia also has a reputation for violent hooliganism. Since the 1990s, the Indonesian football league has had 74 fan related deaths. On the world stage, Indonesia also has an intense rivalry with Malaysia. Fans of the two teams regularly have fights, with the recent case happened during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) in which Indonesia harassing and provoking the Malaysian fans during their defeat at their home ground, Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. After the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Indonesian fans also took to social media to insult, harass, and send death threats to Vietnamese players, and even their family, in response to the loss in the final to Vietnam. Indonesia have been warned and banned several times by FIFA due to their act of hooliganism and, sometimes, having their government intervention on PSSI.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b Aubrey Belford. "In Indonesia, a Scandal Over Soccer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  2. ^ "Duerden: Indonesian football in turmoil". Espn Fc. 2012-12-11. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  3. ^ "Football Every Day » PSSI: Indonesian football in 'such a mess' at the moment". 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  4. ^ John Duerden. "The battles facing Indonesian football - Football". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  5. ^ a b c "Go-Jek Traveloka Liga 1". PSSI - Football Association of Indonesia (in Indonesian).
  6. ^ Tom Allard (2010-06-26). "Indonesian soccer fans' world of pain". Retrieved 2013-08-15.