Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Late news: Jakarta allows Asian Cup street banners

With only weeks to go before the kick-off, the provincial government of Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, has finally given permission for the Asian Football Confederation to display banners promoting the Asian Cup along the city's main thoroughfares. "We are allowed to display banners along Jl Thamrin, JlSudirman and Jl Gatot Subroto, where advertisements are usually banned," General Secretary of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) and Local Organising Committee head Nugraha Besoes told The Jakarta Post. He said the provincial governor allowed the committee to display advertising banners in the streets because football is one of the country's favorite sports and the Asian Cup is an international event.

"Governor Sutiyoso has also supported the event by giving us a50 percent discount on advertisement tax for banners we display," he said.

Indonesia is co-hosting the 2007 Asian Cup with Malaysia,Vietnam and Thailand. The championship will kick off on 7 July in Bangkok, Thailand, and end on 29 July in Jakarta. "We may not have the opportunity to host the event again for another 20 years," Nugraha said astutely. A new media centre has been incorporated into renovations at the national stadium. "We have built an international-standard media centre and 800 seats in the stadium will be reserved for journalists," said LOC infrastructure head, Pung Harsono.

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