(CNN) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Thursday that his country must respect FIFA’s decision to strip it of the right to host the Under-20 World Cup.
Widodo added, in a video clip published by the Indonesian presidency: “I know that this decision disappointed many people, and I am also disappointed and sad, but do not waste your energies to blame each other, because as a great nation, we must look forward, not backward.” “.
The Indonesian president asked that the event be seen as a “lesson for Indonesian football,” and said he had asked the president of the Indonesian Football Association, Eric Thuhir, “to continue to make every effort for Indonesian football to avoid any future sanctions by FIFA.”
FIFA stripped Indonesia of its right to host the U-20 World Cup after an Indonesian official objected to Israel’s participation.
FIFA said, in a statement: “The International Federation of Football Associations has decided, due to the current circumstances, to exclude Indonesia from hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023,” without providing further clarifications, noting that “a new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the remaining dates.” The championship is currently unchanged.
Arya Sinulenga, a member of the Executive Committee of the Indonesian Football Association, told CNN that FIFA’s decision was due to the refusal of an Indonesian official to host the matches if Israel participated, adding that Wayan Koster, the governor of the island of Bali, sent a letter to the Indonesian Ministry of Sports requesting that Israel be banned from competing. in the territory.
And she continued, “The governor of Bali also mentioned in the letter that the Bali provincial government refused (to allow) the Israeli team to compete in Bali.”
CNN has reached out to the governor of Bali for comment but has not received a response.
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