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Indonesia football fans reprieved

Indonesian football fans
Many Indonesians are avid followers of European football

Indonesian TV stations are to go off air overnight to conserve energy - but the screening of European football has been excluded from the ban.

The four-hour shutdown is part of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's efforts to cut energy use and lessen the effect of rising fuel prices.

European football is hugely popular throughout Indonesia.

But due to the time difference, many matches would have taken place in the middle of the shutdown.

"We will honour this government order, but are very appreciative of the fact we can still show soccer," Danke Drajat, a spokesman for Rajawali Citra Television Indonesia, told the Associated Press.

Indonesian TV plans to screen at least three matches a week when the European seasons kick off next month.

Fuel crisis

Mr Yudhoyono's power-saving order, which is not legally binding, came into effect on Monday.

The fuel crisis is one of the president's biggest challenges, and earlier this week he cancelled an overseas trip in order to deal with the issue.

At the heart of the problem is the nation's popular fuel subsidies, which have increasingly hit the government's coffers amid soaring global oil prices and reduced domestic production.



SEE ALSO
Country profile: Indonesia
14 Jun 05 |  Country profiles

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