FIFA strips Indonesia of Under-20 World Cup amid Israel row | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

FIFA strips Indonesia of Under-20 World Cup amid Israel row

AFP | Lausanne

The Daily Tribune –  

FIFA announced yesterday it had removed Indonesia as hosts of this year’s under-20 World Cup amid political turmoil over Israel’s participation.

The decision was made “due to the current circumstances”, FIFA said in a statement without specifying details.

“A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged,” it added.

The draw for 24-team tournament beginning on May 20 was due to be held on Friday in Bali, but FIFA cancelled the event last week without offering a reason or setting a new date.

Indonesia and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, and support for the Palestinian cause in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation runs high, fuelling local opposition to hosting the Israeli team.

As well as Bali’s governor calling for Israel to be kicked out of the tournament, around a hundred conservative Muslim demonstrators marched in the capital Jakarta this month to protest its participation.

Indonesian officials earlier this week said any failure to host the tournament could result in sanctions that would leave them out of other international football competitions including qualifiers for the World Cup and the Asian Cup.

They said losing the tournament could result in trillions of rupiah (1 trillion rupiah = $66 mn) in economic losses.