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Israel’s participation in U-20 world cup unrelated to Indonesia’s politics regarding Palestine

Indonesian President Joko Widodo. (The Indonesian Cabinet Secretariat)

The U-20 World Cup is a sporting event with the most number of fans around the world, therefore the trust to host this event is an honor for Indonesia.

 

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo guaranteed that Israel’s participation in the U-20 world cup has nothing to do with the consistency of Indonesia’s foreign policy position on Palestine.

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“Our support for Palestine is always solid and strong,” the president said in his press statement at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday (28/03).

The president said that the Indonesian government agreed with the Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia, Zuhair Al-Shun, regarding the U-20 world cup.

“Those related to this U-20 World Cup, we agree with the Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia that FIFA has rules that its members must obey. So, don’t mix up sports and politics,” he said.

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The head of state also emphasized that Indonesia has always been consistent and firm in fighting for and supporting the independence of the Palestinian people. In addition, Indonesia also supports the completion of a two-state solution for the state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state.

“This is in accordance with the constitution, rejecting colonialism in any form and we always convey this in bilateral forums, multilateral forums, and other international forums,” he said.

In his statement, the president also said that the appointment of Indonesia as the host for the U-20 world cup has gone through a long bidding and selection process until finally Indonesia managed to outperform the other two candidates, namely Brazil and Peru.

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“At that time, all parties struggled, worked hard together so that Indonesia could host the U-20 World Cup. And finally, in October 2019, Indonesia was appointed to host the U-20 World Cup by FIFA,” the president noted.

According to the president, the appointment was an honor for the Indonesian people because they were entrusted with holding the U-20 World Cup, a sporting event that has the most number of fans around the world.

He added that when appointed as the host, Indonesia did not know teams that would be participating in the U-20 event because it was still in the pre-qualification process.

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“We only found out about the certainty that the Israeli national team passed the selection for the U-20 World Cup in July 2022,” he added.

Regarding the rejection of the Israeli national team’s participation in the U-20 world cup, which the International Football Federation (FIFA) also knew about, the president said that the government and the All Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) are trying to find the best solution.

“Both the government and PSSI are still trying to find the best solution. For this reason, I have sent the General Chairperson of PSSI,  Erick Thohir, to the FIFA team, to find the best solution,” he said.

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Reporting by Indonesia Window

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