Chelsea to visit Indonesia

Chelsea FC championsChelsea will visit Indonesia for the first time in July as the final leg of their pre-season tour of Asia.

The English Premier League side will face an Indonesia XI at Jakarta’s 88,000-seat Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 25, following matches in Thailand and Malaysia.

The Blues will play a Singha Thailand All-Star XI at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok on July 17 before meeting a Malaysia XI at the Shah Alam Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on July 21.

Chelsea, whose website has Indonesian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and South Korean versions, have established strong links in Asia which chief executive Ron Gourlay says the club is keen to expand further.

“Southeast Asia remains home to an ever-growing and passionate Chelsea FC support,” he told Chelsea’s official website.

“In particular I look forward to visiting Indonesia for the first time, a country where we have an extensive fanbase that is eager to see Chelsea play.

“I am sure we will face strong opposition in packed stadiums as we celebrate the successes of some of our important regional partners and we will once again leave an important legacy in terms of the community work we conduct during the tour and for long afterwards.”

Chelsea are opening a football school in Indonesia, having already established grassroots facilities in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

Fellow London club Arsenal will play a friendly against Indonesia in Jakarta on July 14, while Manchester United are also embarking on an tour of Asia and Australia before the start of next season.

The Red Devils will play an Australia A-League All-Stars team in Sydney on July 20, before travelling to Japan to face Yokohama F-Marinos (July 23) and Cerezo Osaka (July 26). Sir Alex Ferguson’s side finish their tour in Hong Kong against Kitchee FC on July 29.

United fans had hoped to see the team play in Thailand for the first time since 2001, but the rumour of a Bangkok stop on the tour has not been confirmed by the club.[]

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