Man U cancels trip to bomb-hit Jakarta, Fergie disappointed

Friday, July 17, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR - English Premier League club Manchester United have cancelled their proposed trip to Indonesia following Friday morning’s bomb blasts at two five-star hotels in national capital Jakarta.

Club coach-cum-manager Sir Alex Ferguson described the cancellation as a major disappointment for him and his team, and said the bomb blasts was “terrible news”.

The Red Devils were to play a game against an Indonesian XI on Monday, reports The Independent.

One of the attacks was on the Ritz-Carlton, where United had been due to stay for four nights from tomorrow.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, Ferguson said: “We got the news as we landed and it is very disappointing. I have never been to Indonesia before and I know the Indonesian FA have worked very hard on this. It is terrible news, but we have taken what I believe to be the right decision in terms of safeguarding our players.”

United’s chief executive David Gill said they had met with officials from the British High Commission before deciding to cancel their trip.

The hotels are in an upmarket business district in Jakarta. The explosions blew out windows and scattered debris and glass across the street.

Although there have been no terrorist problems in the country for a number of years and presidential elections passed off peacefully recently, the Marriott Hotel was badly damaged by a car bomb attack in 2003 that killed 12 people.

That coincided with a period when Islamist militants from the Jemaah Islamiyah organisation were blamed for numerous attacks, including bombings on the island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people. Many militants have since been arrested. (ANI)

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