I have said many times that we have been ready (to hold the tournament) since 2021.
Jakarta (ANTARA) – The government continues its preparations for the 2023 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-20 World Cup while also investigating the Kanjuruhan Stadium stampede, Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali stated.
“Preparations for the 2023 U-20 World Cup are still (running), and there is no hindrance, God willing. The (development of) infrastructure is still (running too). I have said many times that we have been ready (to hold the tournament) since 2021,” he remarked here on Monday.
However, the current government’s priority is probing the incident and treating victims of the tragedy, he stated.
“Still, our focus is to immediately handle the impacts of the Kanjuruhan Tragedy and the handling of victims is the most important thing (to do right now). We are currently concentrating on the Kanjuruhan Tragedy,” he remarked.
The tragedy — which struck after the match between Arema FC and Persebaya on October 1, 2022, and claimed 131 lives — had become a cause for concern for some parties, especially sports officials and stakeholders, since it might affect the rights of Indonesia as the tournament host.
In addition, there was a possibility that FIFA would impose sanctions on Indonesia due to the incident.
However, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had ensured on October 7, 2022, that Indonesia would not be subject to FIFA sanctions, according to a letter sent by the world’s soccer governing body.
In the letter, FIFA stated that it would establish a transformation team to improve football competitions in Indonesia. The association also gave several recommendations for better implementation of soccer matches in Indonesian leagues.
To expedite investigation into the tragedy, the Indonesian government had formed a joint independent fact-finding team (TGIPF) to comprehensively probe the stampede on October 3, 2022.
Jokowi had targeted the team to complete the investigation within a month.
The police had named six suspects in the tragedy on October 6, 2022.
They were identified by their initials as AHL, the president director of the competition organizer PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB); AH, the head of the executive committee for the Arema FC vs Persebaya match; SS, a security officer; WSS, head of the operational division of the Malang Resort Police; H, commander of the 3rd Company of East Java Regional Police’s Mobile Brigade; as well as BSA, head of Malang Resort Police’s public order unit.