Dropping the Ball: Argentina Replaces Indonesia as the Host of the Under-20 World Cup

- 18 April 2023 17:13 WIB
Illustration. Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Dino Januarsa/Unsplash)
Illustration. Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Dino Januarsa/Unsplash)


JAKARTADAILY.ID – Argentina has been chosen to host the Under-20 soccer World Cup next month after FIFA stripped Indonesia of the right to stage the tournament.

The decision to remove Indonesia as host was made on March 29 after the country’s FA canceled the draw to be held in Bali, as its governor refused to host Israel’s team.

Also Read: Breaking News: FIFA Removes Indonesia as Host of the U-20 World Cup 2023

FIFA never specified its reason for moving the tournament, merely stating that Indonesia lost the tournament “due to the current circumstances.”

The Argentine FA formally submitted its bid to host the tournament one day later at the South American Football Confederation Congress.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that “the country of the defending World Cup champions will open its doors to the big stars of tomorrow’s world soccer.”

Argentina hosted the Under-20 World Cup in 2001 when they won the fourth of their record six titles. The tournament draw is scheduled for Friday in Zurich, and the event will run from May 20-June 11.

Many Indonesian football players, fans, and pundits reacted with sadness and anger after FIFA pulled the Under-20 World Cup from the host nation weeks before it was due to kick off, following protests against Israel’s participation.

FIFA announced the decision to remove Indonesia as host on March 29 after the participation of the Israeli national team stirred public and political controversy in the country where Islam is a majority.

Also Read: Gianni Infantino Re-Elected as FIFA President, Promises Revenue of USD 11 Billion

Israeli delegations have been to Indonesia for sporting and diplomatic events before, including four Israelis who competed in the World Cycling Championship in Jakarta in February.

The decision to move the tournament to Argentina was met with mixed reactions. Some of the archipelago nation’s football prodigies took to social media with fury and heartbreak last month after losing the chance to play in what FIFA bills as the “tournament of tomorrow’s superstars.”

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Editor: Suksmajati Kumara


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