President Jokowi Meets U-20 National Team at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo accompanied by the General Chairperson of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) Erick Thohir met with the U-20 Indonesian National Team players, Saturday (04/01), at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium (GBK), Jakarta.
The President had a chat with the national team coach Shin Tae Yong, then with the U-20 national team players.
President Jokowi also gave directives to the U-22 national team players who were conducting training on the same field.
In his press statement, President Jokowi said that his visit to the GBK Stadium was to encourage and console the U-20 national team players who had failed to compete in the FIFA U-20 World Cup as Indonesia was removed from being the host of this prestigious event.
“Today’s afternoon I came here to give encouragement to the team so that they don’t get drowned in disappointment and discouragement,” the President said, adding that the team still have many opportunities ahead to compete in various competitions.
“You can play at the SEA Games later, at the Asian Games, at the AFF [Cup], at the 2024 Olympics, I think there is still a long way to go. So, I told them not to give up hope,” he said.
The President also encouraged the PSSI to build a strong and competitive football team.
“In the future we want to have a more solid team so that we can have a national team that is truly ready to compete,” he said.
Previously, President Jokowi had received a letter from the International Football Federation (FIFA) regarding the decision to cancel the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
In this regard, the President said that he had given two instructions to the General Chairperson of the PSSI. First, to prepare a roadmap for the transformation of Indonesian football to be immediately submitted to the FIFA; and second, to continue to communicate with the FIFA so that Indonesia is not subject to sanctions.
” I hope that Erick Thohir will be able to visit FIFA headquarters in Zurich in the near future to convey what I said earlier,” he remarked. (FID/UN) (EST/MUR)