Aceh groups want women’s soccer event canceled for violating women’s dignity

Source – July 4, 2019
Islamic groups protest against women’s soccer – July 4, 2019 (Kompas)
Islamic groups protest against women’s soccer – July 4, 2019 (Kompas)

Masriadi, Lhokseumawe – The Ulama (Islamic clerics) Communication Forum and other youth organisations have objected to the national-level U-17 Women’s Soccer Tournament being held at the Perta Arun Gas Stadium in the Acehnese city of Lhokseumawe in July and September.

The groups unfurled a banner in front of the grounds of the Islamic Centre in Lhokseumawe during a protest against the tournament on the grounds that playing soccer violates the dignity of Acehnese women.

“The league under the Kemenpora RI [Ministry of Youth and Sport] is contrary to the dignity, virtue and honor of Acehnese women”, action coordinator Tgk Sulaiman Lhokweng told journalists.

They are calling on the ministry to cancel the sports event and respect Acehnese local wisdom which enforces syariat Islam (Islamic law).

“We are asking the Indonesian Student Football League Agency (BLiSPI) as the organiser to cancel the selection and sending of the women’s U-17 soccer team delegation to the national level”, he said.

In addition to this, they are asking that the company PT Perta Arun Gas stop haphazardly giving permission for the use of the stadium when it has the potential to violate syariat Islam in Aceh.

“We urge the BLiSPI to publically apologies to the Acehnese people because they have injured their feelings and local wisdom by exploiting Acehnese women in the soccer field”, he asserted.

Meanwhile as of posting this report, Aceh BLiSPI Chairperson Ishaq Rizal has not been able to be contacted and his mobile phone is not ringing. Rizal has also not responded SMS messages sent to him.

Lhokseumawe Youth and Sports Office head Zulkifli meanwhile says that the soccer event is not under the jurisdiction of his office.

“It’s under [the authority of the] BLiSPI Aceh. Pak [Mr] Ishaq Rizal. I’m not part of the BLiSPI. So it’s better to go directly to the BLiSPI”, he explained.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Ormas Islam Lhokseumawe Tolak Liga Sepak Bola Putri”.]