Indonesia stripped of U20 World Cup hosting by FIFA over Israel entry controversy
Indonesia has been stripped of the right to host the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, world governing body FIFA has confirmed.
The decision to withdraw Indonesia as hosts of the tournament, which runs from May 20 to June 11 this summer, was taken after its football federation (PSSI) said it had canceled the draw on the refusal of the governor of the largely Hindu island of Bali to host Israel’s tournament. crew.
“FIFA has decided, due to current circumstances, to withdraw Indonesia as hosts of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023,” a FIFA statement said.
“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with tournament dates currently remaining unchanged. Potential sanctions against the PSSI could also be decided later.
FIFA added that the decision was taken following a meeting between the president of the world governing body, Gianni Infantino, and the president of the PSSI, Erick Thohir. PSSI officials did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Earlier this month, protesters marched through the capital Jakarta waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and demanding that Israel not be allowed to participate. The Indonesian population is predominantly Muslim. Most Indonesian Muslims practice a moderate version of Islam, but there has been a rise in religious conservatism in recent years that has crept into politics.
Earlier this week, the PSSI said the loss of hosting rights would hurt the chances of Indonesian football teams to participate in other FIFA tournaments, while the economic losses would amount to “billions of rupees “.
On Wednesday, FIFA said it had pledged to help the PSSI following a deadly stampede last year that left 135 spectators dead at a stadium in East Java in October.
As hosts, Indonesia automatically qualified for the U20 World Cup, but they haven’t played in the tournament since 1979.
England have already qualified for the 24-team tournament, alongside Brazil, France, Italy and the United States.