SOLO, KOMPAS.com – Chairperson of Indonesia’s Football Association (PSSI) Erick Thohir has reviewed Manahan Stadium's renovation progress and assured that the stadium in Solo City, Central Java is ready to host the 2023 the International Football Federation (FIFA) U-20 World Cup this year.
“Praise be to God, I think Manahan Stadium is so ready to host the U-20 World Cup,” Erick, who is also the state-owned enterprises minister and former chairman of Inter Milan, said on Sunday, March 12.
The successful implementation of the U-20 World Cup would become the nation’s pride, he added.
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He said that Indonesia, along with other ASEAN countries, aimed to become the host of the 2034 FIFA World Cup for the senior men’s team.
Hence, Indonesia’s opportunity to host the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which is the second largest FIFA’s tournament, should be optimized, he said.
“We [the PSSI] are very wholehearted [in preparing the cup] by reviewing and ensuring the preparations of each regional government because this is concerning the pride of our nation,” he said.
Erick had previously visited other proposed venues for the cup, namely Gelora Sriwijaya Jakabaring Stadium in Palembang City, South Sumatra province, and Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung district, West Java province.
He is scheduled to review the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar district, Bali province later.
The U-20 World Cup will be held from May 20 to June 11 this year. Indonesia proposes that the tournament will be conducted in six stadiums.
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In addition to the aforementioned stadiums, the other venues are Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta and Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya city, East Java.
He said Manahan Stadium is an important venue for U-20 World Cup because it is planned to hold the final match and closing ceremony of the event.
Only small details which are needed to be adjusted at the stadium, such as the arrangement of the logo of the sponsors, the PSSI chairperson said.
“I think Manahan Stadium, Solo, has no issue because it is very well-maintained. Only the grass [on the pitch] should be improved according to FIFA’s standards,” he said.
Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali, who also reviewed the stadium, has said that each regional government that will hold the tournament had inked a host city contract which contains the commitments of the local government to implement the sporting event.
Hence, the central government and the Indonesia FIFA U-20 World Cup Organizing Committee (INAFOC) is carrying out a series of visit to each stadium to ensure the implementation of the commitments.
“I assess whether the local governments have carried out the agreed commitments well or not. Manahan Stadium and Solo administration have been truly prepared to become an excellent host,” the minister added.
Erick is also a co-owner of Persis, a football club in Solo, along with President Joko Widodo's youngest son, Kaesang Pangarep. His eldest brother, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, is the Mayor of Solo City.
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