Manchester United have been forced to cancel their match against an Indonesia Super League XI on Monday in Jakarta following today’s bomb attacks
By Mark Ogden in Kuala Lumpar
Published: 7:04AM BST 17 Jul 2009
Bombs placed at the Jakarta Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, the hotel due to host the United squad for four days from Saturday evening, exploded in the early hours in Jakarta leaving nine dead and many more injured.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were due to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 11.40am local time today prior to Saturday’s tour opener against a Malaysian XI at the Bukit Jalil Stadium.
The squad were then scheduled to fly to Jakarta on Saturday evening for a four night stay in the Indonesian capital, during which they were due to play an Indonesian Select team on Monday evening.
United officials have spent the last few hours reviewing the team’s security situation and have decided to cancel the trip to Jakarta as a result of the terrorist atrocities.
United said in a statement: “Following the explosions in Jakarta, one of which at the hotel the team were due to stay in, and based on advice received, the directors have informed the Indonesian FA that the club can not fulfil the fixture in Jakarta on the 2009 Asian Tour.
<span style="font-family:Times New Roman;font-size:small;”>”We are working on an advised alternative trip outside Indonesia with the promoters, and will make a further announcement when these decisions have been made.
“We are deeply disappointed at not being able to visit Indonesia and thank the Indonesian fans for their support. Our thoughts go to all those affected by the blasts.”
The club had been aware of the terror threat in Indonesia due to advice from the Foreign Office warning of a “high threat of terrorism” in the country.
Advice on the Foreign Office website as long ago as April suggested that “there remains a high threat from terrorism [in Indonesia]. We believe that terrorists continue to plan attacks, which could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.”
A number of terrorist atrocities in Indonesia in recent years, including the attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005, have ensured that the country continues to carry a “high” terror threat.
United, who have brought their first-team squad to the Far East, travel to all games with their own security team, which has accompanied the squad in the Far East.
Following the Jakarta leg, United are scheduled to fly to Seoul on Wednesday before concluding their four-stop trip in Hangzhou, China, next weekend.
A press conference in Kuala Lumpur is due to be staged by the club at 2.30pm local time (7.30am UK) today.
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