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Gervinho, Roma stars barred from Indonesia

Roma striker, Gervinho. PHOTO/AFP

Roma striker, Gervinho. PHOTO/AFP

JAKARTA, July 25- Five players from Italian club AS Roma will miss Saturday’s friendly match in Jakarta after they were refused entry to Indonesia and forced to fly home.

The team touched down in Jakarta on Friday evening for the first time in the Serie A club’s history but ran into trouble at customs, Roma chief executive Italo Zanzi said.

Seydou Doumbia, Gervinho, Victor Ibarbo, Adem Ljajic and Antonio Sanabria were denied entry by immigration officials at Jakarta’s international airport and later boarded a flight to Rome.

Zanzi said it was “very frustrating” the footballers wouldn’t be able to join the rest of the squad for Saturday’s friendly match between two teams of AS Roma players.

“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 — who did everything that we were asked to do — but, most importantly, for the Indonesian fans because they are why we are here.”

It was not immediately clear why the players were stopped from entering the country and Indonesian authorities are yet to comment.

Football is hugely popular in Indonesia and crowds of rowdy fans gathered at the airport to catch a glimpse of the European stars.

Indonesia is the final stop on the club’s summer tour, which saw them take part in the International Champions Cup in Melbourne with Real Madrid and Manchester City.

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