Sat, 27 Sep 2003

Women's soccer

Seeking relief from the dismal news reports on social turbulence, with its repercussions in terms of the impoverished people's sufferings, it is rewarding to be able to read the highlights of the sports news. Surprisingly, a very interesting sports news item emerged in The Jakarta Post on Sept. 18, which referred to the women's soccer World Cup being held in the U.S.

It was reported that the women's World Cup 2003 began with a match between North Korea and the U.S., held on Saturday (Sept. 20), followed by a match between China and Ghana on Sunday (Sept. 21).

It is incredible that the Indonesian sports world and the TV networks totally ignored the historic women's World Cup 2003. News reports about the event were completely absent from almost every TV station.

Other than China and North Korea, reportedly South Korea and Japan also qualified for the women's World Cup.

The mere fact that North Korea and Ghana have succeeded in delivering their women's soccer teams to the World Cup 2003 should help motivate the Indonesian sports world to create a women's soccer team at the national level.

Pondering over the question as to when in this millennium Indonesia might take part in the World Cup, the probable answer is that it will take decades before that dream can materialize, given the physical stature and strength of Indonesian soccer players.

In this respect, the achievement and success reaped jointly by South Korea and Japan in the World Cup, as far as women's soccer is concerned, should be useful for reference and study.

If the men's soccer players are too physically weak to qualify for world-class tournaments, such a condition would perhaps not apply to the Indonesian women's soccer players. As far as physical robustness and suppleness concerned, Indonesia's women athletes are able to compete at a world-class level, as exemplified by their achievements in such sports as beach volleyball and the pole vault.

Perhaps it would not take a relatively long time for a women's national soccer team to qualify for a world-class tournament, unlike the men's team.

S. SUHAEDI Jakarta