Hopefully, the process will be fast.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali is optimistic that the Indonesian national team will perform optimally at the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup, scheduled from May 20 to June 11, 2023.

The national team is expected to qualify in the group stage and continue to fight at the knockout stage, he said.

"Mr. President (Joko Widodo) expects the boys (the national team players) to play optimally. Still, he does not set any pretentious target, as the President knows the (quality) of the teams which will compete (in the cup) later," the minister said in a press release on Monday.

Furthermore, he observed that the young national squad has improved under the direction of coach Shin Tae-yong.

"It is also hoped that the participation of naturalized players (who will join the squad later) can help improve the quality of the Indonesian national team. They (the players) are in the middle of the (naturalization) process with Kemenkumham (Law and Human Rights Ministry), with whom I have coordinated. Hopefully, the process will be fast," he stated.

Meanwhile, the draw for the group stage of the Cup will be held on April 1, 2023.

The tournament will be attended by teams from 24 countries, including host Indonesia, who will be divided into 6 groups.

So far, 12 national teams have qualified for the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup: Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, the United States, Fiji, New Zealand, England, France, Israel, Italy, and Slovakia.

The remaining 12 participants, who have not been determined, will come from the Asian, African, and South American confederations, which will send four representatives each.

Those countries will still need to compete in the U-20 tournaments of their respective confederations, which will be held around February to March 2023, to qualify for the U-20 FIFA World Cup.

The South American U-20 Championship will take place in February 2023, while the AFC U-20 Asian Cup and the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations will be held in March 2023.

The semi-finalists of the championships will get the opportunity to play at the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup.

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Translator: Arnidhya Zhafira, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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