Indonesia looking to 2023 after U-20 World Cup cancelation

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JAKARTA, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) has vowed to use the cancelation of the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup as momentum to host a successful tournament in 2023.

Football's global governing body FIFA on Thursday announced the cancelation of the 2021 U-20 World Cup, scheduled to take place in Indonesia, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on international travel.

FIFA added that Indonesia would host the following edition of the tournament in 2023.

"Following the cancelation of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2021, the national team will take advantage of the additional time and continue with preparations for the World Cup in 2023," said PSSI's Chairman Mochamad Iriawan on Friday.

Iriawan said he respected every decision made by FIFA if it was intended for the safety and security of all parties, and ensured that preparations would continue.

PSSI deputy chairman Iwan Budianto, who also serves as deputy chairman of INAFOC (Indonesia FIFA U-20 World Cup 2021 Organizing Committee) stated that FIFA would continue to coordinate with PSSI and the local organizing committee to make the event in 2023 run well.

In a written statement on Friday, Indonesia's Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali said that the Indonesian government understood FIFA's reason for cancelation, as it remains too difficult to organize large sports events.

"The government also highly respects FIFA because before the decision was taken, it had first considered various aspects. It also appreciated the seriousness of the Indonesian government and PSSI as LOC which had taken various preparatory steps for the successful implementation of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2021," said Amali.

Amali said that he would make a coordination meeting with the Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture early next week to discuss further preparations for the U-20 World Cup.

Matters to be discussed include the renovation of facilities and preparations for the national team, he said, adding that the composition of the national team might change as the ages of the athletes would no longer fit to play in the 2023 event.

The meeting will also focus on the proposed dates of the 2023 U-20 World Cup, as Indonesia is also due to co-host that year's FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The budget for the U-20 World Cup amounted to 400 billion rupiahs (about 28 million U.S. dollars) taken from the state budget.

The budget is only earmarked for renovation of two sports stadiums, namely the Manahan Sports Stadium in the Central Java city of Solo, and the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Sports Stadium in Gianyar, Bali, while the funds for renovation of other stadiums would be borne by regional administrations.

The U-20 World Cup was expected to take place across venues in Palembang, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Solo and Gianyar. Enditem

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