·29 March 2023
·29 March 2023
ndonesia has been stripped of the right to host the Under-20 football World Cup, global governing body FIFA has confirmed.
The decision to remove Indonesia as host of the tournament, running from May 20 to June 11 this summer, was taken after its football federation (PSSI) said it had cancelled the draw over the governor of the largely Hindu island of Bali refusal to host Israel's team.
“FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023," a FIFA statement said.
“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 added that the decision had been taken following a meeting between the global governing body's president Gianni Infantino and PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir. PSSI officials did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.
Earlier this month, protesters marched in the capital Jakarta waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and demanding Israel not be allowed to participate. Indonesia's 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 losing hosting rights would harm Indonesian football teams' chances of taking part in other FIFA tournaments, while the economic losses would amount to “trillions of rupiah”.
On Wednesday, FIFA said that it was committed to aiding the PSSI following a deadly stampede last year that led to the deaths of 135 spectators at a stadium in East Java in October.
As host, Indonesia automatically qualified for the U20 World Cup, but it has not played in the tournament since 1979.
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