Jakarta bombing puts Manchester United's tour of Far East in doubt
17 July 2009 06:15
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 are now reviewing the team's security situation, but the trip to Jakarta now looks extremely unlikely as a result of the terrorist atrocities.
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 2pm local time (7am UK) today.