Indonesia hotel bombings: Manchester United cancel tour match in Jakarta
17 July 2009 07:04
Viewed : 48
At least nine people have been killed in the terror attacks in the Indonesian capital earlier today.
And United are now assessing their options after abandoning the Jakarta leg of their four-game Far East tour.
Currently in Kuala Lumpar prior to Saturday's game against a Malaysian XI, United are now expected to remain in Malaysia before flying to Seoul on Wednesday.
Ferguson said: "We are obviously shocked. We only found out when we landed in Malaysia.
"We had never been to Indonesia before and the organisers had worked hard to get us over there.
"It is a terrible disappointment for them, but there was no other way we could have looked at the situation with regard to the safety of our players, staff and fans.
"We wouldn't have been comfortable going there and I believe we have made the right decision."
United had been due to check into the Jakarta Ritz Carlton Hotel on Saturday evening after flying from Malaysia following tomorrow's fixture.
The Ritz Carlton was one of the hotels targeted in today's bombings and United were aware of Foreign Office about the 'high' risk of terrorism in Indonesia.
But chief executive David Gill insists that the club chose to visit the country after assessing all security options.
Gill said: "We were aware of the situation (Foreign Office warnings) and had discussed it very carefully, taking the appropriate advice.
"We discussed it with the relevant authorities and it was the right decision at the time.
"We didn't just take the decision ourselves. We discussed it with the experts and felt that it was a safe place to go.
"It was our first visit, everyone had worked extremely hard and it is an important market for us because we have a lot of fans there.
"Balancing everything up, we felt it was the correct decision, but as Sir Alex has said, I think we have made the correct decision today, regrettable as it is."
United captain Gary Neville insists that the club's players were keen to visit Indonesia prior to the terror attacks.
He said: "We would have liked the opportunity to go to Indonesia because, as Manchester United players, you get to play all over the world.
"As for it being the hotel we were due to stay at, that's beyond our control. We are just here to play football."