Manchester Utd cancel Jakarta friendly match after hotel bomb attack

Act of terrorism rocks the Asia 2009 pre-season tour

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A 100,000 sell-out crowd were looking forward to seeing Manchester Utd play a friendly against an Indonesian All Star side in Jakarta on Monday, but the game has been cancelled after a series of hotel bomb attacks killed at least nine people.

Yesterday the squad arrived in Kuala Lumpur ahead of a friendly against a Malaysia XI on Saturday, and were due to stay were due to stay in Jakarta’s Ritz Carlton ahead of Monday’s match. Said hotel suffered in a series of attacks which happened in Jakarta’s central business district just after midnight GMT.

Manchester Utd have issued a statement via their official site:

Following the explosions in Jakarta – one of which was 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 cannot fulfil the fixture in Jakarta on the 2009 Asia tour.

We are working on a revised itinerary outside Indonesia with the promoters and we 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 FA and our fans for their support.

Our thoughts go to all those affected by the blasts.

Alex Ferguson told a news conference that the cancellation was the correct decision in light of the need to safeguard the players and staff.

There’s no word yet on whether this attack will affect the rest of the Far East tour, which should also take in China and South Korea.

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