Amid transfer rumors swirling around David Beckham, promoters of the Los Angeles Galaxy’s visit to Jakarta have assured fans that the midfielder will be with the club for its Nov. 30 friendly.
Beckham is in the last month of his five-year contract with the Major League Soccer club. Reports of European interest in the 36-year-old suggest that Sunday’s MLS Cup match against the Houston Dynamo could be his last with the Galaxy.
French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain, which has wealthy Qatari backers and spent 82 million euros ($111 million) to buy players this season, has been linked with the ex-England international.
During a news conference on Wednesday, tour promoter Mahaka Sports showed a video featuring Beckham and teammate Landon Donovan, confirming they would play in the LA Galaxy Herbalife Asia Pacific Tour 2011.
Mahaka president director Hasani Abdulgani said the Galaxy were expected to bring its best team, including Beckham, US star Donovan and Irish striker Robbie Keane.
“I hope there will be no problems, and we hope the Galaxy will come as the Major League Soccer champion. Beckham, Donovan and Keane are confirmed and Beckham will play for at least 45 minutes, according to our contract,” Hasani said.
The promoter’s contract with the Galaxy includes a clause that cancels the deal if Beckham is not on the tour.
There could been a change in the Galaxy’s foe for the friendly at Gelora Bung Karno. The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) announced last month that an Indonesian Premier League selection would face the MLS side, but Hasani said he had proposed to the PSSI that the national Under-23 team take its place.
“After watching the Under-23 team’s form in the Southeast Asian Games, we hope the team can win the gold medal. The fans love them and we want the team to play the Galaxy to show our appreciation for the team,” said Hasani, who joked about adding a contract clause that required the PSSI to send the U-23 team.
PSSI national team coordinator and executive committee member Bob Hippy said the proposal was still under discussion.
“We can see that our youngsters have risen in the Southeast Asian Games, and we have high hopes the team will win the gold medal. We want to give the best for the fans, including for the Galaxy’s visit, so we will put the best team on the pitch,” he said.
Fielding the U-23s might not be a bad idea. Not only are the youngsters turning heads with their performances in the Games, but they are among the few footballers near match fitness, having been together since August.
Disastrous organization and political rows have left domestic football on hiatus since June, depriving senior players of match practice and a paycheck.
Promoters are offering 76,000 tickets, which have been on sale since Nov. 4. The cheapest ticket is Category 3, which costs Rp 75,000 ($8), with Category 2 seats costing Rp 150,000 and Category 1 Rp 250,000. East VIP tickets will cost Rp 500,000, while the most expensive seats are West VIP, which cost Rp 750,000.