SEAGames: Indonesian fake fans cheer for rivals | Inquirer Sports

SEAGames: Indonesian fake fans cheer for rivals

/ 07:09 AM November 16, 2011

PALEMBANG—Indonesian students have been drafted in to cheer on visiting nations in the Southeast Asian Games with few supporters including arch-rivals Malaysia, according to state media.

Hundreds of junior and high school students in Palembang — the South Sumatran city co-hosting the Games with Jakarta — have been deployed at several venues to act as cheerleaders, Antara news agency reported late Monday.

They have been given flags and T-shirts and, in one case, told to chant for Malaysia, despite the long history of enmity between the two countries.


“We have to be a good host, so we also support our guest teams,” junior high school teacher Samsidar was quoted as saying.


Each country is a given a “ration” of home fans depending on the number of athletes they have sent to the Games — Malaysia has the most with 400 Indonesian students on their side.

The conversion is only temporary, according to one pupil Riza Novita.

“My mouth is for Malaysia, but my heart remains with Indonesia,” he said, adding when an Indonesian competed against a Malaysian he cheered both sides.

Singapore have also received solid support, according to The Straits Times, with gymnast Timothy Tay buoyed by a 20-strong contingent of local school children during Monday’s competition.

The Games, which run until November 22, see 11 nations compete for hundreds of gold medals.

The events receive little publicity outside the region but are a source of great national pride between the competing nations.


Indonesia was embarrassed by a troubled build-up to the competition which included building delays and the hosts are keen to show the region they can deliver a successful event.

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TAGS: Indonesia, Malaysia, Offbeat, SEAGames, Sports

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