Sports

Arsenal legend plans coaching
clinic in Jakarta

Welcome: Former Arsenal player Robert Pires (right) is acknowledged by fans upon his arrival at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta, on Thursday. Pires is in Indonesia as part of a promotional campaign for Arsenal’s planned tour in July. Antara/Muhammad Iqbal
Welcome: Former Arsenal player Robert Pires (right) is acknowledged by fans upon his arrival at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta, on Thursday. Pires is in Indonesia as part of a promotional campaign for Arsenal’s planned tour in July. Antara/Muhammad Iqbal

French and Arsenal veteran midfielder Robert Pirès met with Jakarta officials on Thursday to discuss a plan to nurture future Indonesian soccer players.

Jakarta Sports Agency head Ratiyono said that during the meeting, Pirès discussed a plan for a coaching clinic for school students in the city.

“Robert Pirès and his team want to hold a coaching clinic for students of soccer schools in Jakarta. They are interested in coming to Jakarta because they think Jakarta has an incredible number of die-hard football fans,” Ratiyono said after the meeting.

Ratiyono said they had not yet talked about the details of the plan.

“The details of the time and the quota [of the participants] will be determined later by the event organizer,” he said.

Pirès is visiting Jakarta to promote the upcoming Arsenal tour in the capital, scheduled for July 13-14. This will be Arsenal’s third trip to the region in three years, having visited Malaysia in 2011 and 2012.

It will be the first trip to Indonesia since 1982 for the Gunners, who have won 13 English league titles and 10 FA Cups.

“It’s good to be here in Jakarta because the passion for soccer is unbelievable. It is important for Arsenal,” he told reporters.

Pirès, along with Italian World Cup hero Fabio Cannavaro, compatriot Marco Materazzi, and former Brazilian international Denilson are scheduled to perform in a friendly match, titled “Starbol 2013: European Friends vs. Samba Friends” on Saturday evening at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Senayan. The veteran soccer stars will play Indonesian soccer stars and legends such as Firman Utina, Ponaryo Astaman, Ferry Rotinsulu and Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto.

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