FIFA strips Indonesia of U-20 World Cup hosting right
Indonesia will no longer host the upcoming 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup following protests over the participation of Israel at the tournament, reports theathletic.com.
FIFA put their decision to strip Indonesia of hosting duties down to ‘current circumstances,’ but still vowed to help with the transformation process following the Indonesian stadium tragedy in October 2022, which cost the lives of 135 people.
FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, met with Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president, Erick Thohir, yesterday, to inform him of the decision.
A large number of Indonesians, who are predominantly Muslim, voiced their opposition to Israel being included at the tournament — which is due to begin on May 20 — during a march in the capital of Jakarta earlier this month.
Tensions have continued to rise between Palestinians and Israelis in the West Bank, which has led to thousands of arrests and hundreds of deaths.
FIFA, who postponed next week’s draw for the U20 World Cup earlier this week, will now be looking for new hosts for the tournament, which includes England and the United States.
A statement by FIFA read: “Following today’s meeting between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and president of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) Erick Thohir, FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023.
“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged. Potential sanctions against the PSSI may also be decided at a later stage.
“FIFA would like to underline that despite this decision, it remains committed to actively assisting the PSSI, in close cooperation and with the support of the government of President Widodo, in the transformation process of Indonesian football following the tragedy that occurred in October 2022.
“Members of the FIFA team will continue to be present in Indonesia in the coming months and will provide the required assistance to the PSSI, under the leadership of president Thohir.
“A new meeting between the FIFA President and the PSSI President for further discussions will be scheduled shortly.”