STagging the FIFA U-20 World Cup was a badge of pride for Indonesia. Although it is not known for its football prowess – the men’s team is ranked 149 out of 211 in India. official rankingThe Southeast Asian country of 277 million people is famous for its passion for sports: 78% Indonesian consider themselves football fans than 46% in the UK or just 32% in the US

But the tournament, which was set to kickoff in May pulled out of indonesia Last week-loss of billions of dollars to the country, shatter dreams It will have its youth-representatives on the pitch (as their team only qualified to play as hosts), and is leaving millions of fans bitter and angry at politicians considered responsible for the error.

Why did FIFA remove Indonesia from the host?

FIFA said it removed Indonesia from its hosting duties “due to the prevailing circumstances”. The decision by soccer’s final governing body came amid growing uncertainty over whether Israel’s team would be able to compete in Indonesia without disruption.

Over the past several weeks, there has been a series of announcements from local officials and even some small street protests Israel called for a ban on the team, despite performance-based qualification for the tournament. The Indonesian government anticipated rising tensions over Israel’s involvement, but it was tried to balance stressed that it would welcome and guarantee security of all invited teams including israel, while also maintaining that its commitment to Palestine was unwavering. President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, said, “We cannot mix sports and politics.” said in a statement at the end of MarchAs soon as the dispute came to the fore.

Indonesia—which has the world’s largest Muslim population—does not have formal diplomatic relations with and often criticism of israelwhile it’s a long outspoken supporter of Palestinian independence, This is not the first time the Southeast Asian country has had problems with Israel over sporting events. In 1958, Indonesia joined Türkiye and Sudan dropping out To avoid playing each of the World Cup qualifiers against Israel, and during the 1962 Asian Games—under Indonesia’s founding president Sukarno—the Indonesian government refused to issue visas to Israeli participants, forcing Israel to retreat, As recently as 2006, Indonesia pulled out of the Fed Cup tennis tournament because it was held in Tel Aviv. But recently, there was some softening of relations: in 2015, a israeli badminton player Last year played in the World Championship in Jakarta an israeli rock climber competed in Jakarta, and in February an Israeli cyclist raced UCI Track Nations Cup,

Indonesians protest against Israel's participation in the Under-20 World Cup in Jakarta on March 20, 2023.  (Adec Berry-AFP / Getty Images)

Indonesians protest against Israel’s participation in the Under-20 World Cup in Jakarta on March 20, 2023.

Adec Berry-AFP/Getty Images

As calls grew to exclude Israel from this summer’s football tournament, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) tried to resolve the issue with FIFA. But FIFA had made up its mind, saying in A statement on March 29 A new host will be announced as soon as possible. FIFA noted that it would continue to work with the PSSI on an ongoing project to “transform” the game at the domestic level, but as an additional sanction over the whole debacle, FIFA Allocated development funds for PSSI withheld until it completes a review of Indonesia’s plans to improve soccer in the country.

indonesian football long time Corruption And violent fanaticism, In 2015, FIFA suspends Indonesian Football Association For one year, temporarily barring its national team from participating in international competition due to government interference in domestic leagues. and last October, more than 130 people died in a stadium crushprompting an investigation into a series of police failures and charge And commitment Against the organizers and officials deemed to be responsible for the disaster. However, Indonesia still expected to co-host 2034 World Cup.

What is the economic impact of losing the tournament?

FIFA’s decision overturns Indonesia’s years of preparation as Brazil and Peru were chosen back in 2019 to host the tournament. (It was originally scheduled to be played in 2021 but was delayed due to COVID-19). Indonesian soccer analyst Dax Glenija told TIME that the total cost to the country is “very damaging”, both from investments that will no longer be fully reaped as well as from the loss of expected earnings in various areas.

former youth and sports minister revealed last year The preparations for that event required a budget of 500 billion rupiah ($33.45 million). And that doesn’t even include the cost of venue renovations, says Glanija. Data from Ministry of Public Works, Voice of Indonesia reportshow that an additional 322 billion rupiah ($21.5 million) in public funds were spent to refurbish stadiums and other pitches for practice sessions.

The U-20 World Cup was due to run from 20 May to 11 June, and a Study The Institute for Economic and Social Research at Universiti Indonesia (LPEM UI) estimates that more than 44,000 jobs would have been created. Indonesian paper Kompas It also reports that MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), such as merchandise and food and beverage vendors, are “conservatively” expected to collectively make 1 billion rupees ($67,000) a day during the 22-day event. was estimated. Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno also suggested The loss of revenue from the two million spectators the country’s six stadiums would welcome would amount to 3.7 trillion rupees ($248 million).

A woman passes banners calling for the Women's Under-20 World Cup after Indonesia canceled the tournament, in Jakarta, March 30, 2023.  (Adec Berry-AFP/Getty Images)

A woman walks past banners of the Women’s Under-20 World Cup after Indonesia canceled the hosting of the tournament in Jakarta, March 30, 2023.

Adec Berry-AFP/Getty Images

Overall, without the Games, Indonesia would miss out on billions in economic growth: LPEM UI Study Projects That the economic value added to its GDP that the country stands to lose is around 3.18 trillion rupees ($212.36 billion).

Who was involved and how might it affect their future?

Hosting the Under-20 World Cup would have been a boon for Jokowi. The 61-year-old populist is barred from running for president again in the country’s upcoming elections next year, but is seen as keen to cement his legacy in Southeast Asia’s most populous nation. Is. From hosting the G-20 summit in Bali last year to chairing the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) annual summit this year, a significant part of this has been raising Indonesia’s role and prestige on the global stage. In a presidential broadcast following FIFA’s decision last week, Jokowi said that hesad and depressed” though he also advised that people don’t want to point fingers and “blame each other.” On Saturday, he met the players Those who will now have to watch the tournament from home for consolation.

But it doesn’t help Jokowi’s legacy that it was members of his own party—the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P)—who were central figures in the anti-Israel fiasco that cost Indonesia the tournament: Bali’s governor Wayne Coaster and Governor of Central Java Ganjar Pranovo Each issued statement called for Israel’s removal from the tournament. And the party’s general secretary Hasto Cristiano accused FIFA of an “enforcement”.Double standardsto Israel, allowing the country to compete despite alleged human rights violations fifa banned Russia was barred from playing in the 2022 World Cup over the attack on Ukraine.

More than Jokowi’s legacy, however, the whole affair may affect his successor, says Aan Suryana, an Indonesian political analyst and visiting fellow at the ISEAS Yusuf Ishak Institute in Singapore. Ganjar is considered to be at the forefront of: electrification Survey (taken before FIFA’s decision) show him enjoying a comfortable lead, with Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and former Jakarta governor Anis Baswedan trailing.

Aan told Time, “Ganjar Pranovo understood that if he issued a statement against the Israeli team’s plan to come, first of all, he was going against Joko Widodo.” But his decision to do so, S.J. That may reflect “internal politics” within the party, says James Dorsey, visiting senior fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

“He was caring about his elected capacity,” says Ann.

Indonesian magazine Speed reported that the PDI-P president, Megawati Sukarnoputri—the daughter of Sukarno and widely believed Stay Influential While Not in Public OfficeParty members, including Ganzer and Koster, were quietly ordered to reject the Israeli soccer team’s participation in an under-20 tournament.

Clockwise: Indonesian President Joko Widodo;  Megawati Sukarnoputri, the influential daughter of Indonesia's founding President Sukarno;  Erik Thohir, President of PSSI;  and presidential candidate Governor Ganjar Pranovo.  (Getty Images (Photographers: Andrew Gall/NurPhoto, Yulet Ifansasti, Roberts Pudayanto, Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg))

Clockwise: Indonesian President Joko Widodo; Megawati Sukarnoputri, the influential daughter of Indonesia’s founding President Sukarno; Erik Thohir, President of PSSI; and presidential candidate Governor Ganjar Pranovo.

Getty Images (Photographers: Andrew Gall/NurPhoto, Yulet Ifansasti, Roberts Pudayanto, Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg)

It is not clear what impact the final loss of the tournament might have on any particular statistics going forward. Dorsey asked for an estimate of the burden on Indonesian voters, which are set to vote for new leaders in February 2024, and to prioritize more pressing concerns such as infrastructure and inflation. “I don’t know that [losing the U-20 World Cup] It’s going to be a big issue a month from now, let alone eight or nine months,” Dorsey told Time. “It’s too big a fish to fry.”

but if the flood notes Ganjar’s social media posts are any indication, his popularity has already started taking a hit. Indonesian public sentiment towards Israel is not at all warm- A 2017 GlobeScan Poll Only 9% of the country’s population viewed Israel positively, according to the BBC World Service. In recent years, the Palestinian cause has become more entrenched. Indonesian identity politicsBecause the public is increasingly divided between hardline Muslims and more moderate followers of Islam.

In the case of the U-20 World Cup, however, it appears the public was willing to give up identity politics for sport: a national phone poll conducted in March found Most Indonesians wanted the country to host the tournament even with the participation of Israel. (Ironically, those who were most open to Israel playing on their soil were PDI-P voters, suggesting that Ganzer may have alienated his own base).

Ganjar is not the only person whose political future may be affected. Eric Thohir, minister for state-owned enterprises and recently appointed PSSI president, is reportedly eyeing the vice-presidential run in 2024. Last week Indonesian journalists said that he “hard workto renegotiate the fine and avoid severe additional sanctions that could further damage the economy. Thohir, a business magnate who formerly owned the football teams Inter Milan and DC United, walks behind West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil and Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno, in pre-election vice presidential polls, but they had steadily gained prominence in the lead-up to the U-20 tournament.

This incident, says Ain, must have definitely boosted Thohir’s electoral standing. Noting that no party has yet looked to take on Thohir for the upcoming elections, Aan thinks Thohir may be the most doomed by the FIFA results, adding that the Speaker has “no There is no other avenue or step.”

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