GBT Stadium proper and ready to host U-17 World Cup: Thohir

Surabaya (ANTARA) – The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) Chairperson Erick Thohir affirmed that the Gelora Bung Tomo (GBT) Stadium in Surabaya, East Java, had reached 100 percent of feasibility and readiness to host the U-17 World Cup 2023.Thohir, also serving as chairman of the event’s Local Organizing Committee, extended his gratitude for all parties supporting the preparation of the stadium. “I would like to appreciate the support given by Surabaya Mayor, PUPR (Public Works and Public Housing) Minister, Youth and Sports Minister, and colleagues from state-owned enterprises PLN and Telkom,” he said after inspecting the GBT Stadium on Sunday. He also expressed hope that as the host, Indonesia would succeed in presenting the best opening ceremony for this junior-level football world championship. “We have succeeded in demonstrating our capability of properly organizing events, such as the (2018) Asian Games, the (42nd and 43rd) ASEAN Summit, and the G20 Summit in Bali. Hopefully, this (world cup) will also be the best,” he said. Furthermore, Thohir highlighted that the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has praised the quality of facilities at the stadium. “However, we still need to anticipate such potential problems as security problems and traffic congestion, because FIFA will pay attention to them,” he noted. He then informed that President of FIFA Gianni Infantino is scheduled to personally attend the opening ceremony of the U-17 World Cup at GBT Stadium on November 10. “God Willing, the FIFA President will come to Jakarta on November 9 and arrive here (in Surabaya) the day after. He has expressedhis commitment to attending the opening and closing ceremonies,” he pointed out. President Joko Widodo will surely join the ceremonies, he underscored. Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo extended his appreciation to the Surabaya municipal government, state-run enterprises, PUPR Ministry, and several institutions for their utmost efforts to prepare and polish the GBT Stadium. “God Willing, the opening ceremony will be the best in the history of the U-17 World Cup,” he said. The minister then hoped that relevant parties would intensify the dissemination and promotion of the world cup to reach the entire population.

Source: Antara News Agency