President Jokowi: Israel’s Participation in FIFA U-20 World Cup Has No Relation to Indonesia’s Political Stance on Palestine

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 28 Maret 2023
Category: News
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President Jokowi (Photo by: BPMI of Presidential Secretariat)

The Indonesian Government has confirmed that Israel’s participation in the FIFA U-20 World Cup has no relation to Indonesia’s consistent foreign policy stance on Palestine.

“Our support for the Palestinian cause has always been solid and strong,” President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said in his press statement, at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (03/28).

According to the President, the Government has agreed with Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Zuhair Al-Shun regarding Israel’s participation in the tournament.

“In this regard, we agree with the Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia that FIFA member associations must obey the rules. Hence, we cannot mix up sports and politics,” he said.

On that occasion, the Head of State also underscored that Indonesia has always been consistent and firm in supporting the Palestinian independence cause.

In addition, Indonesia also supports the completion of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

“This is in compliance with our Constitution. We refuse colonialism in any form as we always convey in bilateral, multilateral, and other international fora,” he added.

Regarding the Host of the U-20 World Cup, the President pointed out that Indonesia has gone through a long bidding and selection process and managed to outperform Brazil and Peru.

“At that time, all parties struggled and worked hard together so Indonesia can host the U-20 World Cup. And finally, in October 2019, Indonesia was appointed by FIFA to host the U-20 World Cup,” he stressed, adding that the appointment was an honor for the Indonesian people to host a sporting event with the most fans around the world.

The President also revealed that Indonesia had no idea about the participating team because it was still in the pre-qualification process.

“We only found out about the Israeli national team has passed the selection for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in July 2022,” he said.

Regarding the rejection of Israeli participation in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the President said that the Government together with the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) will strive to seek the best solution.

“Both the Government and PSSI are still striving to seek the best solution. Therefore, I have delegated PSSI Chief, Mr. Erick Thohir, to meet with FIFA team to resolve the issue,” he remarked. (DND/UN) (RIF/MUR)

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