Earlier this month, hundreds of activists in the predominantly Muslim country marched in Jakarta’s capital to protest Israel’s involvement in the tournament.
FIFA has chosen to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 after an official of the country objected to the participation of Israel, a statement by the football governing body confirmed on Wednesday.
“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,” FIFA communicated on its platforms.
A new host will be announced in the next few days, FIFA expressed in its brief statement, which failed to highlight a specific reason for the expulsion.
“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,” FIFA’s statement added.
Earlier this week, PSSI cancelled the tournament’s draw after Bali’s governor Wayan Koster refused to host Israel’s team in the competition.
Bali’s governor sent a letter banning the squad due to Israel’s apartheid policies in Palestine, which it has occupied for decades.
In addition, Indonesia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel and is a predominantly Muslim country, leading to hundreds of activists protesting the Israeli national team’s involvement.
“Indonesia is a FIFA member, so for any international soccer matters, we have to abide by the rules,” Thohir said in a statement on PSSI’s website.
“We have to be strong. I ask all football lovers to keep their heads held high over this tough decision by FIFA. Because I am of the opinion, because of that, this is the time we have to prove to FIFA to work harder to transform football, towards clean football and achievements, ” Thohir added.
Meanwhile, Doble Amarilla media outlet reported that Argentina may be the next destination for the tournament as it has has offered to host the contest.