ICYMI, FIFA took away Indonesia’s right to host the upcoming U-20 World Cup, which is taking place from May to June, following the snowball effect of Bali Governor Wayan Koster rejecting the participation of the Israeli youth football team last week.
Bali is also set to host the second edition of the 2023 World Beach Games (official name: 2023 ANOC World Beach Games) after the planned 2021 event was canceled due to the pandemic. The Island of Gods was officially awarded hosting rights on June 10 last year.
Unsurprisingly, Israel’s athletes have qualified for the games and questions linger whether FIFA’s cancellation would affect the outcome of the multi-sport event organized by the Association of National Olympic Committees.
“Up until now there is no cancellation [for the World Beach Games],” said the chairman of Indonesian Olympics Committee (KOI), Raja Sapta “Okto” Oktohari.
The businessman, who is also a member of the National Mandate Party (PAN), said that while it’s possible that Israeli athletes may struggle to enter Indonesia ahead of the games due to the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries, organizers have solutions in mind.
“Indonesia is too big to be minimized in sports,” he said.
Okto gave examples of how the Republic of China (Taiwan) had their own flag for their National Olympic Committee, and how Russian athletes were still able to participate in the last summer Olympics in Tokyo despite not being allowed to bear their flag.
While Okto remained optimistic, let us all not forget questions over Israel’s participation at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup have been raised since June last year when their football team qualified for the tournament. Statements from officials at the time reassured us that the Israeli team will be accommodated.
We all know how that went in the end.
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