Indonesia stripped of hosting Under-20 World Cup by FIFA
Indonesia was stripped of its hosting of the men’s U-20 World Cup on Wednesday amid political turmoil over Israel’s participation.
FIFA said Indonesia was ruled out of hosting the 24-team tournament scheduled to start on May 20 “due to the current situation”, without giving details.
The decision came after a meeting in Doha between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Indonesian Football Federation president Eric Thohir.
Israel qualified for its first ever U-20 World Cup in June. The country’s participation in a draw scheduled for Friday in Bali has sparked political opposition this month.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country and while it publicly supports the Palestinian cause, it does not have formal diplomatic ties with Israel.
The Indonesian hosts were in doubt on Sunday when FIFA postponed the draw.
The organizers of the tournament, which was to be held at six stadiums in Indonesia, are unknown.
Argentina, who failed to qualify for the tournament, are reportedly interested in hosting the tournament.
FIFA said: “The dates of the competition are currently unchanged, but the new hosts will be announced as soon as possible.”
The Indonesian Football Federation may be subject to further discipline by FIFA. The suspension could rule Indonesia out of the Asian qualifiers for his 2026 World Cup starting in October.
Indonesian football and public institutions have been selected to host the 2021 edition of the U-20 World Cup after agreeing to FIFA’s hosting requirements in 2019. The tournament was postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Israel qualified for their first U-20 World Cup when they reached the semi-finals of the U-19 European Championship. The team lost to England in that final.
Israel plays in Europe as a member of UEFA after leaving the Asian Football Confederation in the 1970s for political and security reasons.