Indonesia, the host nation, loses the Under-20 World Cup to Israel due to protests

After protests there against Israel’s inclusion, FIFA withdrew the Under-20 World Cup from the host nation weeks before it was scheduled to begin. On Thursday, Indonesian football players, fans, and commentators responded with rage and despair.

Two powerful governors who supported Israel’s exclusion from the tournament were responsible for the humiliating loss.

Since Indonesia is the most populous country in the world with a Muslim majority and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, there is strong local opposition to hosting the Israeli squad.

The nation’s most popular sport is now back in the doldrums and at risk of further isolation as a result of FIFA’s decision to choose a new host and eliminate Indonesia’s automatic qualification berth.

Some of the football phenoms from the island nation vented their rage and sadness on social media after being denied a spot in what FIFA refers to as the “competition of tomorrow’s superstars.”

Two powerful governors who supported Israel’s exclusion from the tournament were responsible for the humiliating loss.

Since Indonesia is the most populous country in the world with a Muslim majority and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, there is strong local opposition to hosting the Israeli squad.

The nation’s most popular sport is now back in the doldrums and at risk of further isolation as a result of FIFA’s decision to choose a new host and eliminate Indonesia’s automatic qualification berth.

Some of the football phenoms from the island nation vented their rage and sadness on social media after being denied a spot in what FIFA refers to as the “competition of tomorrow’s superstars.”

Very painful
But the competition the nation received in 2019 received widespread support, with many people seeing it as a source of pride for the country.

Despite its pro-Palestinian stance, Jakarta promised to secure Israel’s participation, but FIFA couldn’t hear the protests above the noise.

“The Indonesian people are actually suffering greatly as a result of this catastrophe. We must hold accountable those who made noise and caused us to fail “said football snoop Akmal Marhali of Save Our Soccer.

Officials from Indonesia claimed that if they lost the competition, it may cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.

Indonesia might not participate in the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers due to fresh fines from FIFA, which start in October. Due to intervention from the government, it was banned for a year in 2015.

The loss of Indonesia’s first-ever major football tournament, though, wounded the most for the country’s ardent supporters.

A 40-year-old supporter named Jarnawi, who goes by one name like many Indonesians, expressed his disappointment, saying, “It has been my ambition to watch Indonesia host a major football event.”

Around 130 people were killed in a catastrophic stadium stampede last year, and the sport has long been plagued by unstable infrastructure and fan violence.

But finally, the tournament that many had long yearned for was lost because of the conflict between politics and athletics.

“We’re referring to young people who wish to play soccer. They are no longer interested in anything “commentator Justin Lhaksana.

Why are political games being carelessly thrown into this issue?

(AFP)

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