United spurn tour plea

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Football News

Manchester United have turned down a final plea to fulfil their Far East tour match in Indonesia - and also rejected the opportunity to earn £1million by going to Australia instead.

United are still discussing how to fill the gap created by the terrorist attacks in Jakarta on Friday and a number of alternatives are still being discussed, but one that was dismissed quickly was an appeal from the Indonesian government to reverse their decision to abandon the second leg of the trip.

"Manchester United needs to show that they are with us not just in words, but in deeds," said presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal. "There is no more powerful message to the world than to continue with the Jakarta match as planned."

Djalal added: "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."

Given United were supposed to be staying at the Ritz-Carlton, one of two hotels targeted by suicide bombers that left eight dead and over 50 injured, the reaction was understandable.

"The decision to cancel the Jakarta leg of the tour was not taken lightly," said a club spokesman.

"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."

It is estimated the total loss incurred by the cancellation will be around £4million when refunds to supporters and the loss of commercial revenue are taken into account.

United are still investigating the possibility of getting the Indonesian Select outfit they were supposed to be playing on Monday into Malaysia in order to play the game as planned.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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