Jokowi urges young garuda squad to keep championship spirit alive

Jokowi urges young garuda squad to keep championship spirit alive

President Joko Widodo and Young Garuda team, champion of the U-22 AFF, at the Palace, Feb. 28, 2019. (Joko Susilo)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) fulfilled his promise to receive the Young Garuda Squad`s members here on Thursday, urging them to keep their championship spirit alive.

The Young Garuda Squad`s entourage was received at the back veranda of the Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta.

"The entire nation and I are so proud of the achievement of this new generation of Indonesia`s soccer players," the incumbent president, commonly known as Jokowi, noted in his opening remarks.

This Young Garuda Squad`s success will also herald the awakening of Indonesia`s football.

"May this achievement really offer a new direction for the awakening of Indonesia`s football," he affirmed.

At the meeting, Jokowi congratulated and shook hands with the Young Garuda Squad`s coach Indra Sjafrie and visiting members.

"We have won the Asian Football Federation (AFF) Cup. We hope to also grab the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup. Moreover, at the end of this year, we face the SEA Games. I think that we go in that direction," he told the attendees.

Jokowi was accompanied by Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi and Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, while Young Garuda Squad`s entourage was also accompanied by several representatives of the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI).

The Young Garuda Squad won the Asian Football Federation (AFF) Cup after defeating Thailand, the defending champion of the AFF Cup, in the finals on Tuesday evening.

On the day the Young Garuda Squad succeeded in defeating Thailand, with a 2-1 victory, Jokowi affirmed that the success demonstrated the strength of harmony in Indonesia`s unity in diversity.

"Our U-22 players come from various parts of Indonesia, and they have different ethnic and religious backgrounds. On the field, the differences turn into harmony and strength that have enabled them to grab a victory," he wrote on his Instagram account.

The Young Garuda Squad`s success was welcomed by the entire nation, including the Indonesian citizens living in the Malaysia-Indonesia border area.

Heny Sudayat, a community leader in Badau Sub-district of Kapuas Hulu District, West Kalimantan Province, told Antara that the success had made them proud.

"This is a remarkable achievement," Sudayat remarked.

Reporting by Joko Susilo, Rahmad Nasution

 

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