Jakarta, JG: A clutch of Manchester United former greats will fly into Jakarta on Oct. 23 for an exhibition match against a team of Indonesian players at the national stadium.
“Peter Schmeichel will be the team manager,” said R. Sasikumar, a managing director at Red Card, the agency that will organize the MU visit. “We are also still in talks with Paul Scholes. In total, we have 14 players but we will announce the full squad shortly.”
Former greats such as Dwight Yorke, Ronny Johnsen and Jesper Blomqvist will be on the teamsheet taking on Indonesia’s RED, which apparently stands for “Retired Extremely Dangerous,” in a friendly match the promoter is calling the “Battle of RED” at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Local favorites such as Bambang Pamungkas will represent Indonesia in the match, which will begin at 7 p.m. and will be aired on MNCTV.
“We all know MU has a big fan base in Indonesia,” Sasikumar said. “You have 50 million fans here. It makes sense that they come to Indonesia. The team will visit Singapore and Macau as well.”
Event promoter Franky Paath of MC Pro Enterprise said that the players’ visit would bring back memories of their golden era.
“I also hope young Indonesian players get to experience their performance against the retired Indonesians,” he said.
Abdul Hakam Ikromi, a 24-year-old MU fan, said he was excited for the visit.
“We are enthusiastic about watching them live,” he said. “Though the current squad still can’t visit Indonesia, we are delighted to have the legends here in Jakarta. I hope the current team will visit soon… as big fans of MU, we are ready to convince them that it is safe to play in Indonesia.”
Tickets are available from Rp 50,000. Local brand JJ Royal Coffee has signed on as the primary sponsor and will give away 5,000 free tickets. JG