Two Indonesian players left behind after passport gaffe

JAKARTA Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:54pm IST

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Two Indonesian players could not travel to Turkmenistan for Saturday's World Cup qualifier after the country's soccer body misplaced their passports, local media said.

Wahyu Wiji Astanto and Tony Sucipto were told about the problem barely half an hour before the team was scheduled to leave for the airport on Wednesday, the Jakarta Globe reported.

"I was shocked," the 25-year old Astanto was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "When he (the manager) told me that, I didn't ask any questions. I just went straight back to my room.

"That should have been my debut in the senior squad and I've been waiting so long for that moment."

Sucipto echoed his team mate's feelings.

"I don't know what happened. I submitted all the documents they needed, including my passport," he said.

"I've been playing for the national team for years and this is the first time something like this has happened."

The Indonesian soccer body's secretary general Tri Goestoro admitted the error and said officials were aware about it since Saturday.

"They made new passports on Monday. We did everything we could to obtain visas for them but failed," he said.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Pritha Sarkar; to query or comment on this story, email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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