Bali is among Indonesia’s six provinces set to host matches in the 2021 U-20 (Under 20) World Cup, as the country prepares to host the biennial championship for the first time.
As stipulated in a Presidential Decree issued on Sept. 15, President Joko Widodo established the FIFA U-20 World Cup Organizing Committee (INAFOC) to organize the upcoming international event.
The U-20 World Cup is scheduled for May 20 until June 12 next year, and six stadiums across the country have been selected to host the games. In Bali, the matches will be held in Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar regency, while other venues include the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium in Jakarta and Sriwijaya Stadium in Palembang, South Sumatra.
FIFA has yet to announce any changes to the schedule for the U-20 World Cup, but Indonesian officials are carrying on with preparations nonetheless, which include renovating the venues.
Bali Governor Wayan Koster has expressed hopes that the event will help boost the province’s economy, which has been deeply battered in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Of course this event will help boost the revival of Bali’s economy, and right now every week a number of ministries are hosting meetings in Bali. This is part of an effort towards Bali’s recovery,” Koster said yesterday.
He added that four fields in Denpasar city and Badung regency are also prepared to host trainings for the teams.
“I’ll be doing the monitoring myself, I’ll be directly supervising these projects. Because this is for the good name of Indonesia in the world’s eye,” Koster said.
Success of hosting the U-20 World Cup may better Indonesia’s chances of seeing the 2034 World Cup be played on its shores. Earlier this year, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha announced that all 10 ASEAN member countries would be submitting a joint bid for sport’s biggest quadrennial event in 15 years’ time.
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