April 5, 2023
JAKARTA – Mayor of Surakarta, Central Java, Gibran Rakabuming Raka said renovation work for Manahan Stadium would continue despite the recent cancellation of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia as the city is gearing up for a new sporting event.
Gibran, the eldest son of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, said construction work on the stadium would continue to prepare for what he called “a replacement event” for the U-20 tournament.
“Everything that we set up for the U-20 tournament would continue to be in place. All of it would be used for this replacement event,” Gibran told reporters after a budget meeting in Surakarta’s city hall on Tuesday.
Gibran was responding to speculation that Indonesia, after being removed by FIFA from hosting the U-20 FIFA World Cup, is now poised for staging the U-17 tournament, also organized by the world’s governing body for football.
Speculation was rife that Indonesia could be the new host for the U-17 tournament, especially after FIFA stripped Peru of its hosting rights for the competition on Monday.
FIFA said the South American nation had failed to fulfill infrastructure commitments ahead of the tournament.
The governing body said the U-17 World Cup was still set to take place from Nov. 10 to Dec. 2, and that its Council would designate a new host.
Contacted separately, newly inaugurated Youth and Sports Minister Dito Ariotedjo said he would wait for a decision from Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) chairman Erick Thohir on whether Indonesia could host the U-17 tournament.
“Let’s wait for the outcome of the meeting between the PSSI and FIFA. I don’t want to overstep their authority,” Dito told reporters on Tuesday.