INDONESIA - The legions of Indonesian fans of famed English Premier League team the Arsenal Gunners will soon realize the dream of their lifetimes. At a press conference in Jakarta today, it was announced that the team will travel to Jakarta July 13-14 for a match with the Indonesian National Team-dubbed the “Indonesian Dream Team” at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Senayan, Jakarta. The press conference was conducted by a number of prominent figures including CEO of the MNC Group, Hary Tanoesoedibjo, Minister of Youth and Sports, Roy Suryo, Managing Director of RCTI, Kanti Mirdati, President Director of M-Pro Sports and Entertainment, Raja Sapta Oktohari and Arsenal Chief Commercial Officer Tom Fox.
RCTI has assumed the role of official sponsor of the event, which is being called RCTI ARSENAL TOUR 2013 - INDONESIA, and the television station will also act as the official broadcast outlet for the match. “It is a great honor for MNC Group and specifically RCTI to have been able to arrange this historic visit of Arsenal to Indonesia,” said Hary Tanoesoedibjo, CEO of the MNC Group. “It is especially gratifying that Indonesia is the only country in Southeast Asia selected for a stop on the Arsenal tour this year,” he added.
According to RCTI Managing Director Kanti Mirdiati, the station is planning a series of both on-air and off-air events to celebrate and promote the Arsenal appearance. “We have organized viewer contests in which fans can win an authentic Arsenal jersey and one lucky fan will win a free trip to Emirates Stadium in London to enjoy first hand a visit with the Arsenal team,” said Kanti.
The Arsenal first team squad that will arrive for the Jakarta match includes well-known stars like Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski, Mikel Arteta and Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger.
The visit will mark the first time since 1983 that the Arsenal squad has visited Indonesia and will be the EPL team’s only visit this year to the region. As in their first visit to Indonesia 31 years ago, the Gunners will face off at the massive Gelora Bung Karno Stadium against the Indonesian National Team, which has been dubbed by the sponsors as the “Indonesian Dream Team”.
Plans for the Arsenal visit first surfaced in London last November in a joint statement from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis. At the announcement ceremony Gazidis presented President Yudhoyono with an Arsenal jersey emblazoned with the name “Indonesia” and bearing the number “13”.
Speaking at the press conference today, Arsenal Chief Financial Officer Tom Fox told reporters that “All of us at Arsenal, the players, coach Arsène Wenger and the entire staff of the club completely support this visit to Indonesia after a 31-year absence. We know that Arsenal has an incredible fan-base in Indonesia and we hope to help cement that relationship with the fans who have been so loyal. We also hope to absorb some of the wonderfully rich and historic culture of Indonesia in the process.”
Julian Kam, CEO of ProEvents Group, expressed pleasure in his company’s involvement in the Arsenal visit. “We are extremely happy to be working with RCTI and M-Pro Sports and Entertainment in bringing Arsenal to Indonesia for the enjoyment of the club’s many fans in this country,” he said, adding that “It will also be a great opportunity to showcase the passion of Indonesian fans and the beauty of their country to the world.”
It was these same factors that became the motivation for M-Pro Sports and Entertainment to become involved as the promoter of RCTI ARSENAL TOUR 2013-Indonesia.
“We know that Arsenal has unbelievable fan support in Indonesia and we are thrilled at the opportunity to bring this legendary club to the home of some its most loyal fans. Many might think this is impossible but with the help of our partner ProEvents, we finally managed to secure the team for Indonesia. Football fans in Indonesia will now have the change too see up close and personal their favorite stars and witness first-hand their skills in ball control and attacking the goal,” explained M-Pro Sports and Entertainment President Director Raja Sapta Oktohari.
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