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Liga 1 rookies face the threat of playing away for the entire season

Liga 1 rookies face the threat of playing away for the entire season

Newly Liga 1 promoted side Persijara Banda Aceh will possibly be banned from playing at their home ground Harapan Bangsa Stadium as the venue failed to meet the Liga Indonesia Baru criterias.

Persijara Banda Aceh got a place in the 2020 Liga 1 after finishing third in the previous season at the Liga 2 and slipped to the narrow doors by winning in the play-off against Sriwijaya.

Nevertheless, their return to the Indonesian top-flight league is now compromised by the warning of the company being incharge of the Liga 1, Liga Indonesia Baru, to not allow Persijara Banda Aceh to play at Harapan Bangsa Stadium if the club’s executives do not have some immediate changes and upgrades to the field.

Harapan Bangsa Stadium had been built in six years, from 1991 to 1996, and first open to the public in January 1997. The stadium used to serve as the venue for Indonesia national team’s international matches at the 2017 Aceh World Solidarity Tsunami Cup.

Nevertheless, the time mostly used for matches at the Liga 2 made Persijara Banda Aceh board overlook the maintenance of the stadium. Although Harapan Bangsa Stadium has gone through renovations and expansions in 2006 and 2008, another upgrade is much needed for Persijara Banda Aceh to compete at the highest level.

The main problems of the 45,000-seat stadium are the poor quality of the grass, bad lighting system and old goalposts which are not fit for intense matches.

However, Persijara Banda Aceh higher-ups are confident that all upgrades will be taken in time for the kick-off of Liga 1’s kick-off on February 29.