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Mandala Stadium “ Football Field Since the Dutch Era”

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SPORT – Jayapura’s Mandala Stadium has always been the venue for matches when Persipura was the home for every match in League 1.

Mandala and Persipura seemed to have become one and this stadium was also the headquarters for the proud club of the Papuan people. Every time Persipura competes at Mandala, thousands of people will attend and watch at this stadium. In the 2014/2015 season, Mandala Stadium was the venue for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competition.

Mandala Stadium has undergone several renovations to reach international standards. In 2005, Mandala Stadium received the B+ AFC Standard. Before the renovation of that stadium, Mandala Stadium initially had a capacity of 30,000 spectators, but after being renovated by the Public Works Department of Papua Province, the capacity became 50,000 spectators.

In the Dutch era, Mandala Stadium was called Dok V Football Field, but this field was rarely used for matches and competitions, at that time the Hollandia Bond League football competition mostly used Bergendal Field or Argapura Field belonging to the PSK Kajoe Island club, and football competitions held at Hollandia Binnen Field which is now called Trikora Field, around the 1950s, in Jayapura City (formerly Hollandia) there were two football leagues, the first is Voetbalbond Hollandia en Omstreken (VHO) and the second is Voetbal Bond Hollandia (VBH). They play on five fields in Hollandia or Jayapura, one of which is Mandala Stadium or Dok V Field.

Mandala Stadium was first renovated in 1972-1973 by the former Commander of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command, Brigadier General Acub Zainal, Acub Zaenal was born on 19 September 1927 and died in Jakarta, 4 October 2008 at the age of 81 years. Acub Zaenal is an Indonesian Military and Political Figure who served as Governor of Papua for the 1973-1975 period. Previously, Acub Zaenal served as Pangdam XVII/Cenderawasih for the 1970-1973 period and he was also one of the PSSI administrators for the 80s and the founder of the Perkesa 78 and Arema Malang football clubs.

After being appointed as Governor of Irian Jaya (now Papua) in 1973, Acub’s first agenda was to renovate the Papua Governor’s Office, restore the Mandala Stadium, and build the Jayapura GOR, therefore the name Acub Zaenal is very much remembered by the Papuan people.

“”Acub Zaenal gave his heart to the Papuan people,” said Willem, a resident of Jayapura city.

In 2019, the Papua Provincial Government, through the PUPR Service, renovated the Mandala Stadium again using the 2019 APBD budget. The Mandala Stadium was completely renovated, starting from the field drainage, grass, spectator seats, to the lights adjusted to AFC standards to support the implementation of Sports Week. National (PON) XX 2021 in Jayapura, the stadium lights were increased to a capacity of 1,200 Lux and the pitch grass was replaced by Zoysia matrella which is of FIFA standard.

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