European football clubs to play in Surakarta: Gibran

"We can confirm two teams will come, from Asia and Europe", the Mayor of Surakarta, Central Java, said.


In this stock photo, Gibran Rakabuming Raka (center) is seen during an event in Surakarta, Central Java, on Jan. 14, 2020. (Shutterstock/Reca Ence AR)

April 12, 2023

JAKARTA – Mayor of Surakarta, Central Java, Gibran Rakabuming Raka said on Tuesday the city’s Manahan Stadium would play host to exhibition games from football teams from Europe and Asia.

Gibran, the eldest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said the teams would arrive in June and would benefit from the new facilities set up at the recently renovated stadium.

“We can confirm two teams will come, from Asia and Europe,” Gibran told reporters on Tuesday, quoted by

Manahan Stadium, built at the outskirts of Surakarta, was scheduled to host international teams competing at the U-20 FIFA World Cup scheduled for May this year.

But following Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo and Bali Governor Wayan Koster’s refusal to host the Israeli team, the world’s governing body for football FIFA decided to strip Indonesia of its hosting rights.

Soon after the cancellation, Gibran said he would continue reconstruction work at the Manahan Stadium, giving rise to speculation that Indonesia would make a bid for the right to host the U-17 competition.

In early April, FIFA stripped Peru of the right to host the U-17 FIFA tournament, after the governing body found the South American nation had failed to fulfill infrastructure commitments ahead of the competition, scheduled for November.

On Monday, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) chairman Erick Thohir said Indonesia would not make a bid to host the under-17 competition.

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