JAKARTA • Five players from Italian club Roma missed yesterday's friendly football match in Jakarta after they were refused entry to Indonesia and forced to fly home.
The Italian Serie A team touched down in Jakarta on Friday for the first time in the club's history but ran into trouble at Customs, Roma chief executive Italo Zanzi said.
According to an Indonesian immigration official, Seydou Doumbia, Gervinho, Victor Ibarbo, Adem Ljajic and Antonio Sanabria were denied entry for not possessing valid visas. They were unable to obtain a visa on arrival because their passports were issued by countries which did not have such an arrangement with Indonesia.
Doumbia and Gervinho are from the Ivory Coast, Ibarbo is Colombian, Sanabria is from Paraguay and Ljajic comes from Serbia.
"The five players were obliged to have visas but they didn't have them," said Heriyanto who is the spokesman for the directorate-general of immigration.
Zanzi said it was "very frustrating" the footballers would not be able to join the rest of the squad for the exhibition match between two teams of Roma players at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
"It's a real disappointment for us, given that we've made a substantial effort to be here," he was quoted as saying on the club's website.
"It's not a positive thing for the players, for the club... but, most importantly, for the Indonesian fans because they are why we are here."