Football matches and cinema seem to have something in common; a number of people who come together from different backgrounds in one place. The difference is that the goal of most football audiences is to support their favourite team in their own way. Closeness and being loved in such a way by many people has made football not only just about eleven against eleven, but also about attachment, prestige, self-esteem, love, and unlimited support for winning and losing. Football isn’t just about the players who compete but it also belongs to those who come and go, those who watch, and those who believe in a series of events. Football is life.
137 people lost their lives in a football match in Indonesia, the highest number of victims among several incidents which caused death in the name of football. The figure was later recorded in statistics as the second-highest ever number of deaths at a football match. The crowd, which consisted of ordinary people full of joy and the spirit of support, from children to adults, suddenly became a terrifying sea after tear gas was released in the direction of the cheering fans.
An incident that could have been avoided but suddenly turned into a mass grave should no longer only be called a disaster. When the sense of security which is supposed to be maintained becomes a disaster, perhaps the more appropriate word is murder.
The state has never taken death seriously. Whether one person is murdered in the air, hundreds of people in a football game, or hundreds of thousands more are murdered, the principle for those who are guilty is to carry on living without punishment; that’s the culture in this country. In this edition of JAFF, we have tried to keep this in mind and hope for a thorough investigation. We don’t have the power to have fun playing football over the freshly dug graves of the victims, we want to get to the bottom of this. Introducing Indonesian football fans. Apart from the negative images displayed from bits and pieces of events, supporters have different ways of loving just like other human beings. Those supporters are part of us.
Five films are being featured in the Football for All program. Our limitation constrains us to only represent a small number of supporters and we chose three closest to our event venue, Yogyakarta; plus two more films to get to know who our Aremania friends are. We hope that we will get to know more about who football supporters are and how they love their clubs. Of course, besides that, we will continue to discuss the Kanjuruhan tragedy and the dilapidation of our football system which is filled with cheating, an outcome without any process of governance or management, if there was a word worse than terrible, that is what would be used.