Thursday, June 16, 2011

Netherlands' van Bronckhorst to play in Indonesia in tribute to mother

The former Netherlands star, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who captained his country at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, will visit his mother's homeland, Indonesia, to play in an exhibition game on 22 June.

Van Bronckhorst will turn out for the International Stars, a side featuring the top foreign players from the official Indonesian Super League and the breakaway Indonesian Premier League, against the 'Dream Team' of Indonesia.

“Starbol — Unite for Football Indonesia” will be played at Indonesia's national stadium, Gelora Bung Karno, in the Capitoline city, Jakarta.

Organiser Febry Momor told the Jakarta Globe that van Bronckhorst will arrive on the morning of 21 June and, in addition to the exhibition game, will greet fans and hold a coaching clinic for children. “He will leave the country on June 25,” Mohar said. “He also plans to establish a foundation here to help children in the country, especially from Maluku, the birthplace of his mother.”

Van Bronckhorst was scheduled to visit Indonesia in March, but he canceled the trip because of a series of bomb threats that month. Four bombs were sent through the mail, with one exploding and injuring four people while it was detonated by police. Mohar said he met van Bronckhorst in London during the UEFA Champions League final in May and assured him that Jakarta was safe to visit.

The exhibition game has been planned by the Indonesian Professional Footballers Association (APPI) whose spokesman, national star Bambang Pamungkas, said the players wanted to show unity despite Indonesia having two competing leagues. “We want everyone to know that despite everything that’s happened in the country’s football recently, we’re still united as players,” he said.

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