Arsenal legend Robert Pires has helped bring Indonesian fans together to set a record for the longest 11-a-side football match held in the country.
On January 24, hundreds of football fans joined together at the International Sport Club of Indonesia to take part in the MURI (Indonesian World Record Museum) record attempt.
The football marathon saw the club and its supporters embrace the “Gotong Royong” spirit, a value of community building which is deep within Arsenal’s DNA and shared across Indonesia.
Precisely 579 participants took part in the record attempt alongside Pires, including members of the Arsenal Indonesia supporters club and a number of celebrities including Rico Ceper, Edi Hidayatullah - aka Edi Brokoli - and Rifky Balweel.
In total, the football marathon lasted for nine hours, three minutes and 39 seconds, setting a new MURI record for the longest non-stop 11-a-side football match in Indonesia. The final score was Arsenal Clock End 37-60 Arsenal North Bank.
With the help of club partner PUMA, Arsenal donated a football per participant to global charity partner Save the Children and other good causes in Indonesia. Twenty young people from a Save the Children project in the Bandung Province, funded by The Arsenal Foundation, took part in the record attempt and received their donation of 200 footballs at the football marathon.
The rest of the footballs will be donated to a number of good causes in Indonesia. Pires and Charles Allen - head of marketing for Arsenal - symbolically distributed a number to a representative of children soccer schools and youth charity group on Sunday during Jakarta’s Car Free Day around the Sudirman area.
“The club has always understood its ability to bring people together and the football marathon really demonstrated that," Pires said. "It was great to see so many people come down to support the record attempt and to play alongside them, particularly the members of the Arsenal Indonesia Supporters Club and the young people from the Save the Children project in Bandung.”
Allen added: “We would like to thank our loyal Indonesian fanbase for their incredible support this weekend, whether they were taking part in or supporting the football marathon. The reception the club receives when visiting Indonesia is incredible and the football marathon was a chance for us to acknowledge those supporters and thank them for their continued support.
"We would also like to thank PUMA, Save the Children and new Indonesia retail partner MAP Active for their contributions over the weekend.”
For more information and images from the Arsenal Football Marathon in Bahasa Indonesia, please visit the official Twitter account @OfficialAFC_ID and the official Facebook page www.facebook.com/arsenal. A video of the weekend’s activities will be available on club channels in the coming days.
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