Following FIFA’s decision to cancel Indonesia’s status as the host of the U-20 World Cup, President Joko Widodo gave two instructions to the Chairman of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Erick Thohir. These instructions were conveyed by Jokowi to Erick after their meeting at the Presidential Palace Complex in Jakarta on Friday (31/3/2023).
In a press statement, Erick stated that Jokowi had emphasized the importance of completing the “blue book” transformation of Indonesian football. This directive had been conveyed during a meeting with the new PSSI management team some time ago.
“The President said that it must be completed soon and given to FIFA,” said Erick.
The second instruction from Jokowi, according to Erick, was to reopen discussions with FIFA to ensure that Indonesia remains a part of the FIFA family. “This means that the President does not want us to be excluded from the world football map,” he added.
As a result, the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises promised to make every effort to ensure that the transformation of Indonesian football takes place. Furthermore, Erick promised to work hard in negotiations with FIFA to avoid any sanctions.
“Because FIFA itself certainly hopes that this does not happen. But if you look at the letter, FIFA clearly studies and considers sanctions for Indonesia,” he said.
The President’s instructions highlight the urgent need for Indonesia to address issues that have hindered its progress in football development.
The “blue book” transformation plan is a crucial step in this direction and must be completed soon to ensure Indonesia’s continued participation in international football events.
The decision was made after a meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the President of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), Erick Thohir.
According to FIFA’s official website, “FIFA has decided, due to the current situation, to cancel Indonesia’s status as host for the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023.”
The statement was released on Wednesday night, March 29, 2023. FIFA explained that a replacement host would be announced as soon as possible, with the tournament dates remaining unchanged.
Furthermore, FIFA has stated that potential sanctions against PSSI may be decided in the next stage. FIFA is committed to helping PSSI, working closely with the Indonesian government under the leadership of President Joko Widodo, in the process of transforming Indonesian football after the tragedy that occurred in October 2022.
“The FIFA team members will continue to be present in Indonesia in the coming months and will provide the necessary assistance to PSSI, under the leadership of President Thohir,” the statement read.
FIFA has also said that a meeting between the FIFA President and the PSSI President to discuss further issues will be scheduled in the near future.