Manchester United reject appeals to go ahead with Jakarta match after terror blasts
18 July 2009 09:11
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Nine people were killed in separate suicide bombings at Jakarta's Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotels, the hotel due to host United from this evening (Sat).
United immediately cancelled their trip to Jakarta in light of the atrocities and the club are now due to stay in Kuala Lumpur until Wednesday before flying to Seoul.
But Indonesian officials have urged United to stand up to terrorism by performing an about-turn and agreeing to play in Jakarta on Monday.
Indonesian Presidential spokesperson Dino Patti Djalal said: "There is no more powerful message to the world than to continue with the Jakarta match as planned.
"Of all the great feats that have been, and will be, achieved by Manchester United as a great football team with a heart, this one – proceeding with the match in Jakarta as a measure of solidarity – will be long remembered by history.
United, however, have confirmed the decision will stand and issued the following statement at lunchtime on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur.
"The decision to cancel the Jakarta leg of the tour was not taken lightly, but after an act of terrorism. The Club received advice from a variety of sources, including our own Foreign Office. That advice has not changed and so the Club's decision has to stand.
"Everyone at the Club is disappointed not to be able to play in Indonesia, but it has a responsibility to its players and staff."