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Argentina to replace Indonesia as U20 World Cup host following protests against Israel

April 18, 2023 at 2:18 pm

A ship is seen with Argentina flag at Katara beach as FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 continues in Doha, Qatar on December 12, 2022 [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Argentina has been chosen to host the Under-20 World Cup after FIFA stripped Indonesia of its right to stage the tournament due to Jakarta’s refusal to host the Israel national team, FIFA announced yesterday.

“FIFA is delighted to announce that this year’s edition of the U-20 World Cup will take place in Argentina, as the home of the world champions opens its doors to tomorrow’s superstars of world football,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“Having this year’s edition taking place in a country that lives and breathes football will be a tremendous inspiration for the stars of tomorrow.”

Argentina Economy Minister Sergio Massa said it signed “all the international deals that FIFA demanded from our government.” With the Under-20 World Cup set to be held from 20 May to 11 June.

Argentina, the record six-time champion, had initially failed to qualify for the U20 World Cup however, FIFA decided it will take Indonesia’s spot as host after it was confirmed that Indonesia was to have its hosting duties stripped from it following protests taking place over the participation of Israel in the tournament.

The move will likely damage the Indonesian football teams’ chances of taking part in other FIFA tournaments. International suspension, for example, could see Indonesia banned from playing Asian qualifying matches for the 2026 World Cup for which the qualifying stage starts in October.

Indonesia does not have any formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

READ: Calls from Qatar to boycott sports tournament due to Israel participation