The FIFA U-20 World Cup is an official football championship held by FIFA every two years since the inaugural tournament was held in Tunisia in 1977. This championship is followed by every country that sends their under 20 years old national teams. Before they can enter the competition, they must pass the qualifications of each confederation to partake in the U-20 World Cup. Indonesia in 2023 officially becomes the host for the tournament and is certain to qualify automatically to take part due to the host status. By becoming the host, Indonesia has renovated all the stadiums that will be used for the U-20 World Cup. In addition, Indonesia has also prepared all the areas used for the tournament. And besides that, the design and production run of the merchandise for this championship has also begun. But sadly, all the preparations have been for nothing because Indonesia has been dropped as host for the 2023 U-20 World Cup.
The Reasoning of FIFA to Cancel Indonesia’s U-20 World Cup Host Status
Indonesia was officially canceled as the host because Indonesia refused the participation of the State of Israel in this U20 World Cup. The Indonesian side voiced this shortly before the procurement of the group phase drawing of the World Cup which was located in Bali. The refusal from Indonesia then led to FIFA having to cancel the drawing which led to Indonesia being dropped from the U-20 World Cup entirely.
Impact of Host Status Cancellation for Indonesia
The cancellation of the host status from Indonesia had several significant impacts on Indonesia, especially on the economic side. Not only lose a lot of income from tourists who will come to watch the U20-World Cup but also losing spectators from all over the world who want to see their country participate in the U20-World Cup. Apart from that, Indonesia also loses in the field of merchandise that has been produced because the cancellation can result in these products not being sold on the market. There is also a lot of expenditure in renovating stadiums, but because this also has benefits for the league, it is not in vain.
Chronology of the Cancellation
The presence of the Israel National team at the U20-World Cup event is indeed controversial for the Indonesian People because the Indonesian Country supports the independence of the Palestinian people and state. Because of this, many narratives of rejection from social media have emerged regarding Israel’s participation in the tournament. In addition, several parties from mass organizations stated Israel’s existence in early March 2023.
Apart from that, the government also voiced its rejection of Israel’s participation in the U20-World Cup. One of them is the Governor of Bali I Wayan Koster, he sent a letter to the Minister of Youth and Sports on March 13, 2023. The contents of this letter are a request from the Governor of Bali so that Israel does not take part in the U20-World Cup. Many masses also staged demonstrations so that there would be no formal diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Israel which might occur due to the holding of this tournament. Then the Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo, also expressed that in his opinion, it was better for Israel not to come to take part in the World Cup series in Indonesia. After the emergence of many rejections, FIFA decided to cancel the draw for the group phase of the U-20 World Cup. But it didn’t end there, after some time FIFA decided to cancel the tournament in Indonesia as a whole. The decision was announced through the official FIFA website. (BJW/NM)