Israeli National Team Can Visit Indonesia for U-20 World Cup: Ministry
"We have discussed this issue since 2019. All countries qualified for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup are welcomed to compete (in Indonesia)," Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali stated, as quoted from PSSI's official statement here on Monday.
According to the minister, as politics must be separated from football sports, so according to FIFA's consensus, all countries can participate in all FIFA tournaments despite the host country having no bilateral relations with a participating country -- which is the case between Indonesia and Israel.
"FIFA told us that any country qualified in the U-20 World Cup must compete in Indonesia, so there will be no problem. Our security officers will provide security (for the Israeli team). We need to pay attention to this issue," Amali remarked.
Meanwhile, PSSI Secretary General Yunus Nusi also affirmed the football association's commitment to accommodating the interests of the Israeli U-20 national football team while competing in Indonesia.
"Concerning Israel, I believe that the government had signed an agreement last year. Everyone can come (and compete in Indonesia), and we will accommodate the Israeli team. This is our final decision on our meeting to discuss the Israeli issue with the government last year," Nusi stated.
The Israeli U-20 national football team is qualified to participate in the 2023 U-20 World Cup after sealing their place in the UEFA European U-19 Championship.
Apart from the Israeli team, the French, Italian, and English U-20 national football teams have also sealed their place in the U-20 World Cup. As the World Cup host, Indonesia automatically qualified to participate in the tournament.
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