FIFA removes Indonesia as host of U-20 World Cup 2023

Indonesia has been stripped of the right to host the Under-20 football World Cup, FIFA has said in a statement after protests against Israel’s participation led to the cancellation of the tournament’s main draw.

Global football’s governing body announced its decision on Wednesday, following a meeting with the Indonesian football federation’s (PSSI) President Erick Thohir, and said a new host country would be announced “as soon as possible” with the tournament set to start on May 20.

PSSI had cancelled the draw for the tournament on Sunday, after the governor of the largely Hindu island of Bali refused to host Israel’s team.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation and does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel, while publicly supporting the Palestinian cause.

“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.”

Earlier last month, protesters marched in the capital Jakarta waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and demanding Israel not be allowed to participate.


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