Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez poses for a photo with Muhammad Rizky, who survived last year's massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Palu, Central Sulawesi. (Photo courtesy of the British Embassy)

Young Survivor of Central Sulawesi Tsunami Gets Chance to Visit Manchester City Football Club


MAY 10, 2019

Jakarta. Muhammad Rizky, a 12-year-old fan of Manchester City football club and a survivor of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Central Sulawesi last year, was granted a fully funded trip to Britain to meet the players of his favorite club and see them in action.

Rizky was watching a match of the English football team at an internet café in Palu on Sept. 28 when the devastating earthquake struck. He thankfully escaped with only a broken arm.

The boy and his father were offered the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Britain to see Manchester City play. They set off on May 2 and had an opportunity to watch the team beat Leicester City 1-0 on Monday night. They enjoyed meeting Manchester City players, including Riyad Mahrez, and sightseeing in Liverpool and Manchester.

Mahrez expressed his support for the young fan by video message and sending a signed football shirt, the British Embassy in Jakarta said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Rizky's story shows how the strength of one boy's spirit in the face of tragedy inspired people around the world. His story is one of many that caught the hearts and imaginations of people around the world, including in the UK," British Ambassador Moazzam Malik said in the statement.

"When a natural disaster strikes, friends want to help. The UK and Indonesia have a great friendship, and so we were at the forefront of efforts to help Central Sulawesi. £5 million [$6.5 million] was donated by the British government, and a further £27 million was donated by the British public," he said.

"Sport can play a role in healing. Sport can unite, inspire and entertain us all – and the Premier League belongs to the whole world as the biggest, most competitive and most global national football league. Even as a Liverpool fan, I am delighted and touched by Manchester City and Riyad Mahrez's generosity in inviting Rizky to the UK to see his favorite team play and win, and experience the amazing atmosphere of a Premier League stadium in person," Malik said.