Indonesia’s success in hosting the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup has exceeded expectations, drawing a remarkable crowd that surpassed FIFA’s set target. The global soccer event aimed for an average of 10 thousand spectators per match, but Indonesia’s enthusiasm soared as an impressive 11 thousand fans attended each game, according to the Information Center of the 2023 U-17 World Cup.
Hamdan Hamedan, an expert at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, emphasized the exceptional achievement, stating, “Even though FIFA’s target was only 10,000 spectators, we have exceeded FIFA’s target. That is in terms of public enthusiasm.”
Beyond the sheer numbers, FIFA expressed satisfaction with Indonesia’s dedication to preparing for the U-17 World Cup. Hamdan shared, “On November 14, 2023, FIFA issued an official statement appreciating the government’s hard work in collaboration with PSSI in organizing this event. Along with the Provincial and City Governments, efforts were made to bring this event to all of Indonesia.”
Indonesia’s role as the host came after stepping in for Peru, deemed unable to host the event. Despite a relatively short preparation time, Indonesia, having previously prepared for the canceled U-20 World Cup, showcased its ability to be a gracious host.
Hamdan remarked, “For us, this is our first U-17 World Cup, organized within four or five months after the official announcement. Yet, we see a significant public interest in attending this World Cup.”
FIFA President Praises Indonesia as Host of the U-17 World Cup
FIFA President Gianni Infantino praised Indonesia as the host of the 2023 U-17 World Cup following the tournament’s conclusion. The championship match saw Germany’s U-17 national team emerge victorious against France in a dramatic penalty shootout at Manahan Stadium, Solo, on December 2.
Infantino, who witnessed the match alongside PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir, commended Indonesia as an exceptional host. “Indonesia has been a great host, giving us a warm welcome and unparalleled hospitality. We had over 1,000 volunteers, and the number of spectators in the stadium was very high, with almost half a million people coming to the matches,” expressed Infantino.
Infantino, expressing surprise at the warm reception in the beautiful country, extended his gratitude, stating, “Thank you” on his official Instagram account. He also congratulated Indonesia and thanked President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir for their contributions to the success of the event.