News analysis

Politicians who don’t play ball with Indonesia’s U-20 World Cup dreams may still come out winners

Protesters shouting slogans, demanding that Indonesia reject the Israel national team participation in the upcoming Fifa U-20 World Cup, in Jakarta on March 20. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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JAKARTA – Mixing politics and sports has cost Indonesia the chance to host the Fifa Under-20 World Cup, putting the nation’s reputation and credibility to hold future world-class sports competitions at risk, analysts say.

Earlier in March, some conservative Muslims had protested against the participation of the Israeli national team, which had qualified for the first time to play in the youth football tournament that had been slated to take place from May 20 to June 11 in a number of Indonesian cities.

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