FIFA Removes Indonesia As U-20 World Cup Host Nation

FIFA has announced the removal of Indonesia as the host nation for the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup scheduled to hold between May and July citing last year’s stadium violence that killed more than 135 people.

“Following today’s meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino and President of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) Erick Thohir, FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023,” a statement by the world football governing body read.

FIFA confirmed that the date for the tournament remained “unchanged” with the body working to announce a new host for the biennial football tournament as soon as possible.

“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.”

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles are one of the participating teams in this year’s tournament after finishing third at the just concluded U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

In October 2022, over 135 were killed during a game between Arema FC and Persebaya in the Indonesia top-flight Liga 1 match at Kanjuruhan Stadium after violence broke out when the home team Arema lost to its arch rival.

Hundreds of football fans stormed the pitch prompting police to open fire to disperse angry supporters and eventually led to one of the worst sports related disasters in history which cost the lives of more than 135 people and left thousands injured.

An Indonesian court has early this month sentenced two football officials Abdul Haris, the chief organiser of the match, to 18 months in prison and Suko Sutrisno, the match’s chief security officer, to one-year jail for negligence in performing their duties.

A number of police officers are expected to be sentenced for their roles in the unfortunate incident on a later date.

However, FIFA expressed its commitment and are in close cooperation with Indonesia president Joko Widodo to help the Asian country recover from the aftermath of the devastating but rather avoidable incident.

“FIFA would like to underline that despite this decision, it remains committed to actively assisting the PSSI, in close cooperation and with the support of the government of President Widodo, in the transformation process of Indonesian football following the tragedy that occurred in October 2022.” A part of the statement read.

“Members of the FIFA team will continue to be present in Indonesia in the coming months and will provide the required assistance to the PSSI, under the leadership of President Thohir. A new meeting between the FIFA President and the PSSI President for further discussions will be scheduled shortly.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *