Until March 31, when FIFA conducted its final review of the stadiums, all were okay.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Minister Basuki Hadimuljono dismissed rumors that Indonesia was removed as host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 owing to its failure to prepare infrastructure.

Hadimuljono noted that all stadiums, both for competition and training, are ready for use by participants of the tournament.

"We have prepared all. Until March 31, when FIFA conducted its final review of the stadiums, all were okay. Hence, it is not true that (the right to host the U-20 World Cup) was stripped due to the unpreparedness of the stadium infrastructure. That is not true," the minister clarified here on Monday.

Hadimuljono elaborated that the ministry had spent a total of Rp155.17 billion to renovate five competition venues and 20 training fields to support the implementation of the U-20 World Cup.

"We are committed to carrying out the task. Moreover the U-20 World Cup, as Mr Erick (Chief of the Indonesian Football Association/PSSI) said, is the second-largest event of FIFA," he remarked.

He noted that the ministry is also renovating other stadiums across the country to meet FIFA's standards.

The stadiums renovated by the ministry comprise the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium in Jakarta; Gelora Sriwijaya Jakabaring in Palembang, South Sumatra; Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, West Java; and Manahan Stadium, Solo, Central Java.

The ministry also renovated several training fields in South Sumatra, Central Java, West Java, East Java, and Bali.

Earlier last week, FIFA announced that it removed Indonesia as host of the U-20 World Cup 2023 and said a new host country would be announced “as soon as possible” with the tournament set to start on May 20.

The decision was made after protests against Israel’s participation in the competition led to the cancellation of the tournament’s main draw.

PSSI had cancelled the draw for the tournament after the Bali governor refused to host Israel’s team.

Earlier last month, protesters marched in the capital Jakarta waving Indonesian and Palestinian flags and demanding Israel to not be allowed to participate.

"FIFA has decided, due to the current circumstances, to remove Indonesia as the host of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023," FIFA noted in a statement.

A new host will be announced as soon as possible, with the dates of the tournament currently remaining unchanged. Potential sanctions against the PSSI may also be decided at a later stage, it said.

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Translator: A Rauf A Adipati, Sri Haryati
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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