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FIFA U-20 World Cup

FIFA freeze funding to Indonesian FA after stripping of U20 World Cup, Argentina bid as replacement

FIFA, the football governing body, has frozen funding to the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) after the country lost the right to host FIFA Under-20 Men’s World Cup 2023 on Wednesday (March 29) when a regional official objected to the participation of Israel.

FIFA will announce a new host for the FIFA U20 World Cup on the following day. Argentina, who laid a hosting bid, is tipped as the most favoured candidate.


The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, had called for the ban on Israel in an official communique for Indonesia’s Ministry of Sports, due to Indonesia’s support of Palestine. Vast protests against Israel’s participation in the Under-20 World Cup were also held in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

Israel has qualified for the first time as one among 24 other nations. The tournament was set to be held from May 20 to June 11, in 6 stadiums across Indonesia, and for 52 games, including one in Gianyar, Bali. The official draw was scheduled to be held in Bali this week.


FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met with PSSI general chairperson Erick Thohir to discuss the situation, Infantino explained that funding will be frozen until further notice, justifying that FIFA would assess a strategic plan to improve Indonesian football before lifting the restrictions. The PSSI was previously suspended in 2015 due to Governmental interference.


During the discussions, Thohir suggested strategies aimed at improving performance from grassroots to Indonesian football, sharing commitments made by Indonesian President Joe Widodo to add infrastructure for the game across the country. FIFA has expressed their support to PSSI and offered its assistance where needed.


Joko Widodo, the President of Indonesia, spoke on how this situation should be a “valuable lesson” for Indonesians “Last night I received a report from the general chairperson of PSSI, Erick Thohir, that FIFA has decided to cancel the Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia, of course, we have to respect this decision. Make this a valuable lesson for all of us, for Indonesian national football.” said Widodo in a press statement.

Widido spoke with Thohir, asking him to do “everything in his power” to ensure Indonesia avoids further sanctions.


Argentina has submitted a bid to host the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after Indonesia was stripped of the hosting rights, FIFA President Gianni Infantino confirmed the interest from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 champions for the U20 event, scheduled to take place from May 20 to June 11. This could be seen as a way of continuing the national celebrations, while Argentina is part of a joint South American bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

“We all know Argentine football and surely it can host a competition of this level,” said Infantino.

“There are other countries that have also announced interest but as a candidacy, with the Government’s guarantees and other details, Argentina is the first and we will make the decision in two or three days,” he added.

Credit: AIPS Media 

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