FIFA withdraws Indonesia as host of U-20 World Cup

FIFA withdraws Indonesia as host of U-20 World Cup

ZURICH –  Indonesia was stripped of hosting the men’s Under-20 World Cup on Wednesday amid political turmoil regarding Israel’s participation.
“Following today’s meeting between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his counterpart at the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI), Erik Thohir, FIFA has decided to withdraw Indonesia as host country for the 2023 U-20 World Cup,” world soccer’s governing body said in a statement, without specifying details.

The decision followed a meeting in Doha between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Indonesian soccer federation president Erick Thohir.

Israel qualified for its first U-20 World Cup in June. The country’s participation in Friday’s scheduled draw in Bali sparked political opposition this month.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation and has no formal diplomatic relations with Israel, although it publicly supports the Palestinian cause.

Indonesia’s continued hosting status was thrown into doubt Sunday when FIFA postponed the group draw. It is unclear who could now host the tournament, which was scheduled to be played in six stadiums in Indonesia.

Argentina, which did not qualify for the tournament, is reportedly interested in hosting.

The new host country for the U-20 World Cup will be announced as soon as possible, with no changes to the dates of the tournament and possible sanctions for the PSSI will be discussed.

Melissa Galbraith
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