Govt discusses U-20 World Cup 2021 preparations following cancellation

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government will discuss the continuation of preparations for the U-20 World Cup 2021 to be hosted by Indonesia following FIFA's decision to cancel the tournament in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement here on Friday, Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali spoke of his plan to hold a meeting with the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Culture to discuss the issue.

"The urgent move is to have a coordination meeting early next week, led by the coordinating minister for human development and culture, involving all stakeholders, including local governments and PSSI (The Football Association of Indonesia)," Amali remarked.

The issues to be discussed encompass the continuation of the stadium renovation project and the national squad training.

Composition of the national team might be changed to align it with the players' age when the sporting event runs in 2023.

Another key issue up for deliberation is the schedule for the tournament on account of the fact that Indonesia will host the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup in the same year.

"After the coordination meeting, the coordinating minister for human development and culture and the minister of youth and sports will convey a full report to the president," he affirmed.

Amali stated that the government can understand FIFA's decision to cancel the competition, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges for the hosting of international sporting events and to have a restrictive effect on international travel.

"The government respected FIFA's decision because the body has considered various aspects before it took the decision, and it lauds Indonesia and PSSI, as the local organizing committee (LOC), that have made preparations for the success of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2021," he stated.

Amali remarked that the government had attempted to convince FIFA of the country's seriousness to host the international sports event by sending a letter earlier in December, elaborating the government's moves to address the pandemic in the country.

On Thursday (Dec 24), FIFA decided to cancel their Under-17 and Under-20 World Cup events scheduled to be played next year owing to coronavirus pandemic.

These World Cup events will now be staged in 2023, with Indonesia still hosting the U20s and Peru, the U17s.

In preparation to host the tournament, Indonesia has renovated and built new stadiums despite the COVID-19 pandemic. State budget allocation for the infrastructure projects has reached Rp400 billion.

The budget will only be utilized for renovation of the Manahan Stadium in Solo, Central Java, and Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar, Bali.

Budget for development of other stadiums will be covered by the respective local governments.

The U-20 World Cup was initially scheduled to be held from May 20 to June 20, 2021, at six venues: Sriwijaya Stadium in Palembang, South Sumatra; Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, West Java; Manahan Stadium in Solo, Central Java; Bung Tomo Stadium in Surabaya, East Java; and Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar, Bali.

Source: Antara News

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