Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Football Association (PSSI) Head Erick Thohir, at a meeting with FIFA's President Gianni Infantino in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, said he strove to ensure the U-20 World Cup would continue to be hosted in Indonesia.

Nonetheless, despite all-out efforts, the association must follow the decision of FIFA that ultimately chose to remove Indonesia as the host of that international competition, he noted.

"I have done my best. After giving the letter from President Joko Widodo and have a lengthy discussion with FIFA president Gianni Infantino, we have to accept FIFA's decision to cancel the event which we are so hyped about," Thohir noted in a statement received on Wednesday.

He stated that FIFA's decision is final and cannot be contested.

"Indonesia is one of the members of FIFA, so for matters of international football, we have to follow the rules that have been set. Even though I have said everything to Infantino about what the president said, members of the U-20 national team, and from football fans, but because we are a member (of FIFA), and FIFA sees that the current situation makes it impossible for the event to continue, then we must follow it," Thohir elaborated.

He called on people to contemplate over the entire situation despite the decision being difficult to accept, not to mention the sanction that could be imposed on Indonesia.

"We have to be strong. I ask for all football fans to keep their chins up despite the difficult decision from FIFA," he stated.

He believed that this is the time to prove to FIFA that Indonesia can pursue a thorough transformation towards a better national football scene.

The U-20 World Cup has become a hot topic after some people expressed their rejection of the Israeli national team's presence.

Bali Governor I Wayan Koster once informed the Youth and Sports Ministry of his refusal of using the region he led to host a competition that involves Israel's team.

Moreover, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo made a statement that his administration supports the holding of the U-20 World Cup as long as Israel does not take part in it.

It is believed that these actions also weigh in to FIFA's decision.

Prior to stripping Indonesia of the right to host the U-20 World Cup, FIFA had already cancelled the group drawing process that was supposed to take place in Bali on Friday, March 31.

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Translator: A Rauf Andar A, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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