Bonek Football Hooligans

Jan 26th, 2010, in News, by

BonekThe shame of Indonesian football, Bonek, Persebaya Surabaya supporters, run amok.

Bandung via Solo

Thousands of supporters of Persebaya Surabaya football club, known as bondo nekat, or bonek for short, travelled to Bandung, West Java on the KA Pasundan train on 22nd January, to see their heroes go down 4-2 to Persib Bandung.

Their journey was plagued by accidents and violence, with three supporters falling to their deaths from the train. The supporters, most of whom had not paid for tickets, threw rocks at passing houses, stole food from vendors at train station stops, and generally ill-behaved.

At Jebres station in Solo, Central Java, their throwing of rocks at homes in a nearby housing estate caused residents to return fire, and a rock throwing battle royale ensued, with dozens injured. l6

Journey Home

The journey back from Bandung, in a specially provided, Bonek only, service, was a mixed affair. Upon entering the Yogyakarta district supporters of PSS Sleman were moved, for unknown reasons, to give the Bonek parcels of food and drinks.

However on arrival at Jebres station the Bonek were set upon by thousands of people who had gathered in wait, and who threw rocks and caused about 70 people to seek medical treatment. Police were forced to fire warning shots in the air to disperse the crowds.

Bonek Solo
The Battle of Solo

Upon their return to Surabaya the local government prepared about 2,000 rice meals to hand over to the Bonek on their arrival at Wonokromo, Gubeng, and Semut train stations, to forestall any hunger driven rioting/stealing. Trucks were also provided, to transport the Bonek safely back to their home neighbourhoods.

Damage Bill

Train company PT Kereta Api puts the damages and vandalism bill at 750 million rupiah, or about $75,000, with a further 250 million rupiah from lost ticket sales, as almost none of the Bonek travellers bought tickets, and is currently in somewhat confused negotiations with the government of East Java province over compensation.

81 Comments on “Bonek Football Hooligans”

  1. gurugitar says:

    Ahh… if this doesnt stop, we can forget about having the slightest chance of hosting the world cup 🙁

  2. Frank-cfc says:

    For me the only Hooligans that travelled and caused fear in other peoples countries where the English ones, hence why all hooligans of other countries always took it as Christmas comming early if the English Yobs landed on their shores. I personaly know the dutch have had a very bad rep in europe, as the turks , italians, Polish, serbs and croats(very naughty the last two) but none had the rep as the English. I remember traveling with Chelsea and I was always amazed at the reputation that preeceded not just Chelsea but english fans be it Man utd or Liverpool, leeds, etc etc. I never got involved with the violent side, as Im a footbal fan first and foremost and hated what the hoolies did. I am glad that at home the problem has seriously lessend not finished but at least you dont feel that violence is inevtable something that I know you dont feel when i go to watch Roma in Italy, and its not just the fans the cops are a nightmare. I seriously dont know enough about the problem here but the ingredients are there to turn it into something big, but wether they will reach the heights of the Engish problem I dont know, and I hope not.

  3. deta says:

    @ Ross

    Yes, deta, much of what yo say is sensible and facutal, but I’m not sure I understand what you mean wen you say that ‘they just don’t have the opportunity like boneks do.’

    Do you mean the desperately poor people who behave like decent humans don’t have the boneks’ opportunity to behave abominably?

    What I meant was the desperately poor people who behave like decent humans can turn into demon when they are put into bonek’s position on that incident or any other riot incidents. And not all boneks are normally criminals. It is just that when people do not know how to channel their anger, they may take it out blindly on anything, especially when they are in the middle of a group of people who feel and behave collectively. Just as an escape from their frustration without any, or very small, risk of being put in jail.

    Adiguna Sutowo and lots of other bastards are of course different cases because they were born evil, or being evil by choice, I would say, despite of their education and work. But heaps of people become criminals driven by circumstances and situations.

  4. ET says:

    Of course they have. You can be a real anti-social swine or a kind, considerate person wherever you are, whatever your income, whatever your education.

    Ross is right. If we may believe the pathology of the antisocial personality disorder described in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) formulated by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) the reasons for apparently senseless violent behaviour are to be found in the social coping mechanisms formed in the early childhood of the individual. Of course the lack of economic and/or other opportunities may act as a trigger to unleash these symptoms, but this doesn’t mean that these symptons will simply disappear and won’t show up again once the individual’s conditions change for the better. The reasons that this violent behaviour shows up easily in gang related circumstances has a lot to do with group dynamics and the chances of impunity.

  5. Burung Koel says:

    If we may believe the pathology of the antisocial personality disorder described in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) formulated by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) the reasons for apparently senseless violent behaviour are to be found in the social coping mechanisms formed in the early childhood of the individual.

    Of course a psychiatrist would say that. While I’m sure there are many factors, including brain injury, I’m more inclined towards a biological/genetic cause. Check this out:

  6. deta says:

    Burung, that’s interesting. A part of me really wants to say “f*ck bonek! They are just a bunch of looser that needs to be extinguished from the earth”. But another part of me wondering if the bonek’s incident was just what appears on the surface of something more huge and essential underneath, and not merely about hooliganism. So it would be useless and waste of energy if people solve this problem case by case while the main source of problems, including poor nutrition as stated by the EurekAlert article, is kept un-touched. Maybe I’ll start to consider Achmad’s suggestion for writing a thesis about it. No, Achmad, it won’t be titled “an unforgettable one night stand with bonek”

  7. ET says:

    So it would be useless and waste of energy if people solve this problem case by case while the main source of problems, including poor nutrition as stated by the EurekAlert article, is kept un-touched. Maybe I’ll start to consider Achmad’s suggestion for writing a thesis about it.

    I suggest as a title for the thesis: ‘Hooliganism and Nutrition, an in-depth Inquiry into the Relation between Bonekism and Indomie Food Patterns’.

  8. deta says:

    Thanks ET, considering the poor nutrition contained in each pack of indomie, there could be a positive correlation between the increasing market share of indomie with the agressivity of indonesian people, not just bonek. Can I cite you as the source?

  9. ET says:

    I was rather thinking of a negative correlation given the fact that bonekism is a highly energetic phenomenon which exceeds the intrinsic nutrional value of a cup of pop mie unless of course it has been enriched with an overdose of sambal oelek.

  10. deta says:

    It will not go with that previous study which stated that the poor nutrition incites the aggressive behaviour. But, well, let the title be “The relation between bonekism with indomie and sambal ulek”. The multiple correlation method will reveals which factor contributing the most (or the least) to aggresivity. Oh dear, I can see my graduation day is coming…..

  11. madrotter says:

    some pretty weird stuff in the comment section from that piece too…

    Well, whether it is true or otherwise, it does not matter anymore since Adiguna Sutowo is now a free man. Ruddy Tri Santoso, David the banker, Muyani the lawmaker/professor, the Religious Minister, etc. all are simply men in the best environment in the worst cases. And yes, I was charged with Embezzlement but I am, too, the first Singapore citizen to ever be freed (acquittal) in Indonesia history! Google and you will know. I am innocent albeit Indonesia jurisdiction system was unbeatable at times. It is not the means but the end. I end up a free man. Justice had indeed spoken.

  12. CAK BONEK says:

    That knew only WE US

    It’s up to you you we said what,
    because you did not feel during the tragedy incident anywhere we, In fact BONEK that now want to quiet without having the problem AFTER The PUNISHMENT, but our ANGER then always was burnt by them who wanted to take revenge that for a long time… and they who wanted to take the profit on behalf of us,

    Dared to die was INSTINCT we if being disturbed,

    BONEK QUIET NOT was significantly FRIGHTENED, SOMEWHAT MOVING was dangerous,


    SO ONLY should not blame BONEK,

    because BONEK THAT was disturbed


  13. bonek mania says:


  14. deta says:

    And I see my self dropping the thesis writing idea…..

  15. keksoderkrummel says:

    Great stories, but madrotter should analyse his words and try to understand himself without having to be put in the funny farm some day…lol
    He says he has been through alot but in a disco as bouncer is not exactly going to war in dangerous areas 24/7 (life or death around the corner)
    of course everyone is made up different and different experiences make new reactions in a phycholoigical sence.

    Personally hoolies are not just normal people who just make trouble its a kind of coming out, as madrotter explained bad job bad district, these people are mostly talented apart from the absolute freaks with no brains, they need to be socially integrated into there towns and clubs and get the feeling of responsability, the most of the Hoolies will grow up some day or grow out of it, but we should look at the seed and start from there a change in socialisation can take years but its possable to stop kids growing up to be a hoolie.

  16. madrotter says:


    ever been to rotterdam, keks?

    i’ve seen people getting it (and giving it) with guns, knives, axes, screwdrivers, glass, chains, razorblades, bats, boots but that’s all childs play right? no, rotterdam ain’t exactly bagdad but it wasn’t a cup of tea either in the 80’s and 90’s….

    it’s being part of a group, having an identity, works the same with most fpi followers…

  17. Keksoderkrummel says:

    yeah man I have been to Rotterdam and Amsterdam actually I was there on Sunday, I live just 2,5 hrs away from Amsterdam, I have not been to Bagdad just missed it, but I was active in Falkland crisis and have served in Northern Ireland. So I know what I am talking about, I dont think its is easy to be a bouncer, you must keep your eyes open, but the chances are 10000 : 1 that it gets so bad, not like a soldier of fortune can get shot in his back on duty anytime anyplace anywhere. But there is no need to become a hoolie because of this, to me it does not measure up a real man will be calm and cool in all situations until the time comes to pay back.

    I don`t really understand the socialogy behind Hooligan behaviour, I just know that all you Hoolies have a identification problem, as I said before in my last write up, a good idea would be to give you guys responsability in the town, this will give you a good identity and you will be looked upon in a respectful way. also your social awareness will change, the society needs good people and hoolies (most of them) need just some councilling and someone to take there hand and put them on the right path.

    All my respect to you, but why don`t you find a different hobby, like Sepedo racing its also got action in it, and only you wil get hurt no innocent people or objects.

  18. madrotter says:

    ehrrr, but where do you get the idea that i’m a hoolie? i’ve never been one myself, had some mates who were in to it, personally i thinks it’s crap, a lot of fuzz over nothing, but others, they go really deep into it… i was only trying to find an explanation to why it is growing so much in indonesia, it’s not like europe where you’ve got maybe 200, 300 of these folks against a same number, overhere in indonesia you get thousands of these kids…

    and the bouncing? man that was back in the middle 90’s, been in indonesia since ’96, my hobby’s are making music, blogging about music, reading, hunting records, hanging around with good friends, doing a lotta work with handicapped kids….

    ehrrrr, how was the weather last sunday?

  19. Chris says:

    Interesting update on this story: Surabaya Gubeng station now has a banner in front of the west entrance saying football supporters are banned from taking trains there.

    I wonder if it is a Bonek-only ban, or a new national policy?

  20. Oigal says:

    How do you decide who is a football fan? If you wear a Man U shirt, Surabaya Green ! Or is it if you travel in packs, if so what is a pack two people friends three people a pack. No that it matters, who would enforce it, we have seen how our proud and noble police are only men when faced with sandel pinching kids and peasants knocking off bananas.

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