Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Indonesia say no to Tottenham!

Sandy Pramuji
Bad Timing Spoils a Possible Tottenham Hotspur Visit in May
The steady stream of English teams touring Southeast Asia won’t be growing larger — at least not yet.
English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur last week contacted the Indonesia Football Association, or PSSI, and requested a friendly in Jakarta, but its request was rebuffed due to bad timing.
“The club’s agent from London called me last week and offered a Jakarta tour in May. We’re flattered by the offer, but unfortunately we had to say ‘no thanks,’?” PSSI general secretary Nugraha Besoes said on Monday.

“It’s not because of legislative elections. It’s because in May all Indonesian clubs will be very busy in local competition, so it will be hard to find players that will be willing to play in a friendly. And I’m sure the clubs will also be reluctant to release their players.”

The Spurs would have been the third Premiership team to visit Southeast Asia in the summer. Manchester United and Liverpool have already announced plans to tour the region in June and July.

The London club’s shirt sponsor — Mansion, an online betting company — is owned by Indonesian conglomerate Putra Sampoerna.

The Indonesian Super League halts play from April 5-16 due to the legislative elections on April 9. League play could take a longer hiatus, though, because police forces around the country have been reluctant to issue permits for matches during the campaign season.

Campaign concerns also caused a proposed friendly between Indonesia and New Zealand on April 1 to be cancelled.

In addition to the schedule squeeze, Nugraha said organizing another large event, in addition to Manchester United’s visit on July 24, would be difficult for the PSSI.

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