Manchester United cancel Jakarta tour after bomb explosions


London : English football club Manchester United have cancelled their tour match in Jakarta after bomb explosions in the Indonesian capital Friday left nine people dead and at least 23 injured.

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Bombs exploded at the Jakarta Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, which was to host the Manchester United squad for four days from Saturday evening.

The team was scheduled to play Indonesia Super League XI in an exhibition match in Jakarta Monday. The match was a part of Manchester United summer tour. They will arrive in Kuala Lumpur late Friday night to play a tour match against Malaysian XI at the Bukit Jalil Stadium.

After Jakarta, they were scheduled to fly to Seoul Wednesday before concluding their four-stop trip in Hangzhou, China, next weekend. But now with the cancellation of Jakarta trip the tour is set for big changes.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Manchester United officials reviewed the team’s security situation and have decided to cancel the trip to Jakarta as a result of the terrorist attacks.

“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 Indonesia FA that the club can not fulfil the fixture in Jakarta on the 2009 Asian Tour,” United said in a statement.

“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 statement added.

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.

Indonesia has witnessed a series of bomb attacks in recent years, including the attacks in Bali in 2002 and 2005.