Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - There are still some opportunities for the national U-20 football team whose participation in the World Cup is now uncertain due to the revocation of Indonesia's host status, Vice President Ma'ruf Amin said.

"Yes, just like what I've said. This is not the end, but a part of process; there is still tomorrow, and there are other events (to participate in). So, football players should not lose their spirits, keep on training," he remarked in Aceh on Thursday.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) removed Indonesia as the World Cup host after FIFA president Gianni Infantino met with the head of the National Football Association (PSSI), Erick Thohir, on Wednesday.

"Always be coached. We (the government) will keep on negotiating. Although the event is canceled, does not mean we can't participate in other international events because FIFA indeed sees the great potential of our football (scene)," Amin said.

He pointed out that FIFA has already expressed its intention to improve the national football scene, with the association even planning to establish an office in Jakarta.

"Because they (FIFA) see our great spirit in football, and the great talent we have. God willing, hopefully, there is no sanction. We hope so, but the chances to rise again is always there," he added.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian U-20 team members expressed their disappointment after the FIFA announcement.

They voiced their frustration through posts on the Instagram account of Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo @ganjar_pranowo.

"Thanks a lot, Sir. Oh we already know. Your luck is already guaranteed. Your future is already good," a team member, Hokky Caraka, commented on his Instagram handle @hokkycaraka_.

He also sent a comment in all caps.

"As for us, Sir? We were just about to initiate better career. But our stepping stone has been destroyed by you," he added.

Another team member, Marselino Ferdinan, expressed his disappointment through a comment written in Javanese and posted from his account @marselinoferdinan10.

"Be healthy, Sir. It's fine, Sir, I am not mad. Just be healthy, yeah," he said.

On its official website, FIFA said that it will immediately appoint a new host for the U-20 World Cup following its decision to revoke Indonesia's status as host. The competition will still take place from May 20 to June 11, 2023.

It also mentioned potential sanctions against Indonesia, which are expected to be announced later.

"FIFA would like to underline that despite this decision, it remains committed to actively assisting the PSSI, in close cooperation and with the support of the government of President Widodo, in the transformation process of Indonesian football following the tragedy that occurred in October 2022. Members of the FIFA team will continue to be present in Indonesia in the coming months and will provide the required assistance to the PSSI, under the leadership of President Thohir,"the association said on its website.

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Translator: Desca Lidya Natalia, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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