Jakarta, IO – Bali Governor I Wayan Koster sent a letter to the Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali expressing his stance to refuse Israeli football team to play in Bali. Israel is one of the 24 teams qualifying for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup scheduled to be held from May 20 to June 11, reported Detik, Thursday (23/3).
Koster is of the view that Israel’s political policy toward Palestine does not align with Indonesian government’s position.
In addition, the Indonesian government does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Thus, he proposed that the government ban the team from entering the country. “We, Bali Provincial Administration, ask the sports ministera to prohibit Israeli team from competing in Bali. We reject Israel’s participation,” added Koster.
Meanwhile, Bali’s Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) chairman Ketut Suardana said he has not read the letter. He said he was still waiting for FIFA’s decision on the matter.
What is certain, he said, is that PSSI Bali will not refuse Israel competing in Bali because the matter has been addressed by the government through the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD.
“Everything has been arranged in accordance with diplomatic relations (norms). Politics and security have been arranged. Mahmud MD said there is no problem,” said Suardana.
He hopes the FIFA U-20 World Cup will run smoothly. “Hopefully there will be no problems and the team can play anywhere in Indonesia according to FIFA provisions,” said Suardana. The match will be held in six provinces: Jakarta, South Sumatra, West Java, Central Java, East Java and Bali. (rr)