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Indonesia Postpones World Cup Draw Following Calls to Exclude Israel

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The Indonesian Confederation has decided to postpone the draw for the U-20 World Cup, which was to be held next Friday, due to the refusal of the governor of Bali to host the Israeli team.

FIFA is checking the preparations for the tournament, which will be held with the participation of 24 teams from May 20 to June 11 in 6 cities, and Israel will take part in it for the first time.

Earlier this March, The Jakarta Post reported that Bali Governor Wayan Koster called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports to develop a policy to prevent the Israeli team from participating in Bali due to the Palestinian conflict. , and the letter was sent to the Indonesian Federation.

Subsequently, the Indonesian Federation said in a statement: “Wayan Koster, the ruler of Bali, refused the presence of the Israeli team in the Under-20 World Cup… This issue may have been the reason for FIFA’s decision to cancel the draw for the U-20 World Cup. For FIFA, the refusal of the ruler is tantamount to the cancellation of the guarantee “provided for the organization of the tournament by the government of the province of Bali.

Earlier in March, rallies were held in Jakarta under Indonesian and Palestinian flags, with protesters demanding that Israel not be allowed to participate.

Indonesia is in danger of pulling out of the organization of the tournament as Arya Sinulega, a member of the Indonesian federation’s executive committee, said he was concerned about FIFA sanctions that could “isolate Indonesian football from the world.”

Indonesia automatically qualified for the tournament as a host country and last participation was in 1979.

FIFA suspended Indonesia for almost a year due to government interference before the ban was lifted in May 2016.

Sinulenga said he hopes the Indonesian federation will find a solution where politics can be separated from sports, as federation president Eric Tohir should coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Source: “Wakalat”

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