KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian national team has decided to withdraw from the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation or AFF U-23 Championship 2022 due to Covid-19 infections and injury concerns.
The tournament is scheduled to run from Feb.14-26 in Cambodia amid an increasing number of Covid-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variant around the world.
In its announcement on Friday, Feb. 11, the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) said that seven members of the national team and an official have tested positive for the Covid-19, four players suspected to be infected with coronavirus, while three others suffered injuries.
After careful consideration of such conditions, coach Shin Tae-yong then sent an official letter to the Federation and proposed to cancel Indonesia’s participation in the AFF U-23 Championship. The decision was made after going through discussions with PSSI officials, including PSSI chairman Mochamad Iriawan, his deputy Iwan Budianto, secretary-general Yunus Nusi, and technical director Indra Sjafri.
“It is with the deepest regret that we must cancel Indonesia’s participation in the AFF U-23 Championship due to the reasons above. We apologize to all parties for this unforeseen situation,” the PSSI website quoted Yunus as saying.
“Currently, we are focusing on the recovery of the players affected by the Covid-19 and those who suffer injuries,” said Yunus.
Due to the transmission of the coronavirus, sporting events at international, regional, and national levels have been affected, causing many organizers to cancel or postpone the events or sporting teams to withdraw from the tournaments.
In March last year, the Indonesian badminton team was forced to withdraw from the All England Open, after a passenger traveling on-board with the team’s flight tested positive for Covid-19 there.