Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said on Thursday that he understood the public's disappointment over Indonesia's removal as the host of the U-20 World Cup, but appealed to all parties not to blame each other.
"I feel the same way, disappointed and sad, but we should not waste energy blaming one another," he said in a statement broadcast on the Presidential Secretariat's YouTube channel from Maros, South Sulawesi, on Thursday.
He said that he had received a report from the Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) chairperson Erick Thohir regarding FIFA’s decision.
The President emphasized that he felt disappointment and sadness over the decision.
Jokowi called upon all parties to respect the decision and learn from it.
As a great nation, Indonesia must look forward and not dwell on the past, he added.
"Let us all learn valuable lessons from this, for Indonesian national football," he said.
The President directed Thohir to continue making maximum efforts to help Indonesia avoid FIFA sanctions and to seek opportunities to host other international events.
FIFA announced its decision to remove Indonesia as the U-20 host on Wednesday evening, citing current conditions. The decision was taken after Thohir met with FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
FIFA's announcement came after some regional heads rejected the Israel U-20 national team's participation in U-20 matches in Indonesia.
The revocation of host status has made the Indonesian team ineligible for the U-20 since it failed the regular qualification route.
FIFA said it would consider sanctions for Indonesia in the near future.
Indonesia may even be isolated from the international sports world because of this unfortunate event.
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