DOHA, QATAR (CelebrityAccess) — On Wednesday, FIFA announced that Indonesia has been dropped as the host of the 2023 Under-20 World Cup, which was slated to kick off in the Southeast Asian nation in May.
While FIFA did not specify why Indonesia was removed as host, the Guardian reported that the decision came after the Indonesian football federation (PSSI) canceled a draw for the tournment when the governor of Bali refused to host Israel’s team.
“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 said in a statement.
According to FIFA, a new host will be announced as soon as possible with the dates of the tournment remaining unchanged “currently.”
FIFA went on to suggest that the PSSI may face sanctions over the matter.
However, FIFA noted that it “remains committed” to supporting the PSSI as it works to address issues following a deadly crowd surge during a match in October 2022 that left more than 125 fans dead and at least 320 injured.
Following the cancellation, Thohir stated: “I have tried my best. After delivering a letter from President Jokowi, and talking at length with the President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, we must accept FIFA’s decision to cancel the holding of the event that we are both looking forward to.”
“Indonesia is a member of FIFA, so for international football matters, we must follow the rules that have been set. Even though I have conveyed everything to Gianni earlier, what the President entrusted, football lovers, the children of the U-20 national team, and also loyal football fans, but because we are members and FIFA considers that the current situation cannot be continued, we must submit,” Erick continued.