United hope for return to Indonesia

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Chief executive David Gill insists Manchester United would one day like to visit Indonesia after plans to play in Jakarta on Monday had to be scrapped.

United were due to spend three days in the capital, and take on an Indonesian Select outfit in front of thousands of adoring fans at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. Instead, those same supporters have been expressing their anger at the terrorists responsible for the attacks that resulted in eight people, including two suicide bombers, being killed and over 50 injured.

"Without doubt we would one day like to repay the loyalty of the Indonesian fans," he said.

Some will be able to make it to Malaysia, when United will tackle a slightly different version of the side Michael Owen's late goal allowed them to record a 3-2 win against in Kuala Lumpur.

But the vast majority must wait for a visit by their favourites, which Gill hopes he can eventually provide.

He added: "We were looking forward to going there and if we can go back one day we would like to but we can't make a commitment because we only do these major tours every two years.

"But we will look at it very seriously."

One distraught fan claimed there were 28 million United fans in Indonesia. That may be a debatable point. Beyond question is that all 73,000 tickets for the game that should have taken place on Monday were sold out three weeks ago.

In addition to the disappointed fans, United have sponsors who will miss out on the team's visit, chief among them the mobile company 3 Indonesia, which was due to sponsor the game.

"It is disappointing on every count," said Gill. "We do have partners in Indonesia but they are not with us for one game. They are with us for the long term because they believe associating with Manchester United is beneficial to their business."

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Michael Owen
Premier League
Manchester United

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