Sunday, December 3, 2023

World cup host cancellation may cause a domino effect for Indonesia

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Novi Nurmalasari


Mahinda Arkyasa



Indonesia has been stripped of the right to host the U-20 World Cup, as FIFA has announced on Wednesday (29/3). FIFA stated that Indonesia was canceled from hosting the 24-team tournament scheduled to start on May 20 “due to the current circumstances”, without specifying details. 

Indonesia may also receive sanctions because of the incident. “The new host will be announced, with the current tournament date still unchanged. The potential sanctions against PSSI can also be decided in the next stage,” said FIFA through its official website.

Moreover, the cancellation of the U-20 World Cup in Indonesia could potentially have both direct and indirect impacts on the national economy.

It is estimated that the state’s losses due to cancellation will reach at least IDR 3.7 trillion (around US$ 247 million), as mentioned by the Tourism and Creative Economy Minister, Sandiaga Uno on Friday (31/3). 

Referring to financing, the losses included costs borne by the Ministry of Public Work and Public Housing (PUPR) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, which exceeded IDR 500 billion, to renovate several football fields, Sandiaga explained. 

In addition, Indonesia will lose potential revenue from around two million projected spectators, which is estimated to amount to at least IDR 3.7 trillion. 

In terms of tourism sectors, hotels, and inns, which rooms had been booked ahead the event also suffered losses.

Damage to reputation

The U-20 World Cup was supposed to be a grand celebratory event after a difficult year for Indonesian football. But losing the host status could have an impact on Indonesia’s medium-and long term reputation, especially for its football.

Indonesia may be suspended by FIFA, and as a result, they may not be able to participate in any activities related to the FIFA agenda, including Asian qualifying for the 2026 World Cup which starts in October.

If such an occurrence happens, all regular competitions in Indonesia may also not be recognized, as explained by football observer, Mustaqim. Moreover, football in Indonesia is not just a sport, but also a source of livelihood. 

“It’s not just the players who are affected, but also referees, officials, merchandise vendors, the tourism sector, and others to a large extent. We know that the competitions will help to stimulate the lower to the middle-class economy, and other related industries”, Muztaqim added, quoted from

Here are other potential negative effects on Indonesian football following the cancelation of FIFA U-20 World Cup, as reported on the official website of PSSI:

  1. Indonesia may be condemned by other countries for not complying with FIFA’s mandate
  2. Indonesia may not have another chance to be selected as the host of a sporting event
  3. The world sports federation may consider not choosing Indonesia as the host of sporting events, including the Olympics
  4. More than 500,000 people including players, coaches, referees, clubs, and communities will be directly affected if Indonesian football is suspended
  5. The national teams for U16, U19, and U20 may not participate in international competitions, resulting in the loss of potential economic benefits worth almost trillions of rupiah

It is hoped that Indonesia’s good reputation for successfully holding a number of world-class events, starting from G20, ASEAN Tourism Forum, the MotoGP, to F1 Powerboat will not change in the eyes of the world.

Novi Nurmalasari


Mahinda Arkyasa




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