Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) instructed his ranks to accelerate the completion of Indonesia's preparations to host the 2023 U-20 World Cup, especially to ensure the feasibility of stadiums to be used to meet FIFA standards.

The president made the statement at a limited cabinet meeting related to the development of preparations for the 2023 U-20 World Cup in the State Palace, Jakarta, Thursday, according to Sports and Youth Minister Zainudin Amali.

"The president had urged us to immediately fulfill FIFA's requirements, such as repairing lighting and (tending to the) grass," Amali noted during a press statement after attending the meeting.

Based on Presidential Instruction Number 8 of 2020 on Support for the Implementation of the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup that was postponed to 2023, Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta; Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang, South Sumatra; Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, West Java; Manahan Stadium in Surakarta, Central Java; Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium in Surabaya, East Java; and Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar, Bali, have been prepared.

The six stadiums were, in fact, ready to be used if the U-20 World Cup continued as originally scheduled in 2021, Amali added.

However, since FIFA postponed the championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several stadiums had to be repaired again to meet FIFA's standards. This is especially since during the postponement period, some stadiums were used for various other competitions, so repairs were deemed necessary.

"For instance, the Manahan Stadium was ready, but during the postponement, it was used for two pre-season tournaments -- the Menpora Cup and the President's Cup -- and then also for the 2022-23 league season, and lastly, it was also used for the ASEAN Para Games," Amali remarked.

The minister noted that in October, the FIFA delegation will conduct a follow-up review of the six stadiums that were readied, so President Jokowi ordered the process to be completed before the deadline.

During the October review, FIFA will decide how many stadiums are suitable for hosting the 2023 U-20 World Cup, Amali stated.

"At the end of October, FIFA will conduct another inspection, but we are still adhering to the plan to use six stadiums," he remarked.

The 2023 U-20 World Cup is scheduled to take place on May 20-June 11 and will be attended by 24 participating countries, including Indonesia, as the host.

So far, nine other countries have qualified for the 2023 U-20 World Cup finals: the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, the United States, England, France, Israel, Italy, and Slovakia.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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