Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | 09:05 WIB

The draw for U20 World Cup canceled, Indonesia’s host status at risk


Jakarta, IO – The 2023 U-20 World Cup in Indonesia is plunged into uncertainty. Indonesia is deemed to have violated its commitment with FIFA to ensure the smooth holding of the entire tournament agenda, including the draw to determine final groups, reported Kompas Daily, Monday (27/3).

FIFA on Saturday (25/3) decided to cancel the schedule draw event which was supposed to take place on Friday (31/3) in Denpasar, Bali, because the Bali Provincial Government refused to issue the permit. Thus, FIFA informed the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) as the local organizing committee and the Emtek Group (broadcasting rights owners) that the draw would be canceled.

PSSI Executive Committee member Arya Mahendra Sinulingga stated that PSSI understands FIFA’s decision and has communicated with the Bali administration under Governor I Wayan Koster, but failed to reach a consensus.

“We agreed to the commitment when we volunteered as host to hold the tournament and take good care of the participants. By not being able to do it, we have automatically violated what was agreed with FIFA before,” said Arya.

The cancellation of the group draw has never happened in a FIFA tournament before. Bali, along with five other cities and provinces, signed an agreement as the hosts in 2019. The Indonesia government has also declared its commitment which is a prerequisite to become FIFA tournament organizer.

Read: Bali Governor refuses to let Israel U-20 national team play in Bali

Arya said PSSI chairman Erick Thohir is now in intense communication with FIFA to save the junior-level tournament.

“The cancellation will also impact other agendas. We cannot say what the chance of the tournament being continued because it will depend on the outcome of PSSI chairman’s lobbying with FIFA,” he said. (un)


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