Thus, they must not dwell in disappointment and sadness.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and national football team coach Shin Tae-yong on Saturday discussed the progress of the U-20 national team players and future plans for developing their talent.

"Coach Shin Tae-yong said that there are a number of weaknesses (of the players) which need to be improved, especially regarding the physical aspect and a little (improvement is required) regarding the skills," he said after meeting with the players at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here on Saturday.

However, there have been great improvements in the players' abilities, he noted. Hence, coach Shin said that the players are ready to compete.

After talking with the coach, the President met the U-20 national team to motivate them to not get discouraged although their participation in the 2023 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-20 World Cup has been nixed.

“Thus, they must not dwell in disappointment and sadness,” he remarked.

He told the young athletes that they still have a long career ahead as they still have opportunities to compete in several other tournaments.

The national team became ineligible to participate in the World Cup after FIFA revoked Indonesia’s hosting rights for the tournament, thereby canceling the automatic qualification of the team for the tourney.

The team also failed to reach the semifinal of the 2023 U-20 Asian Cup, ending their chances of participating in the FIFA U-20 World Cup through the regular qualification route.

FIFA revoked Indonesia’s hosting rights citing the ‘current situation’ in the country. Earlier, a number of regional heads, political parties, and community organizations had protested against the participation of the Israeli national team in the World Cup.

President Widodo instructed chairperson of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Erick Thohir, to continue his discussion with FIFA officials so that Indonesia would not get sanctioned following the revocation of its hosting rights.

Widodo also asked Thohir to promptly complete the national football transformation blueprint and convey it to FIFA to show the government’s serious commitment to improving Indonesian football.

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Translator: Indra Pribadi, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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