Indonesian-Chinese have had to endure a long history of oppression and marginalization due to political pressure in the country. During the entire 32 years of Suharto's regime (1966 - 1998), everything related to Chinese was officially banned in Indonesia.

The Veteran Club is one of the Indonesian Chinese football clubs that still remain. Since the discrimination and violence against Indonesian-Chinese, they were not able to play. The Veteran Club and other Indonesian Chinese players once dominated Indonesian football in the 1930s and were well-represented in the 1956 Olympics. But since the 1998 riots against people of Chinese descent in Indonesia, they have not been able to play professional matches.

These players have been together for more than 45 years and they always spend dinner together after the matches. 

Time has proved that sport isn't always about winning a competition and one thing is obvious: football had the potential to build togetherness then, and it still does now. It's togetherness that binds them all together in perfect unity - no matter how their history and how this country has treated them. 

At present, the number and influence of Indonesian-Chinese football players is modest.

~ The Veteran Club, 2012 - 2015.

(This story was selected for Slideshow Project at Kathmandu Photo Festival 2015.)


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