Indonesia has been stripped of hosting the upcoming FIFA U20 World Cup, just two months before the youth football tournament is scheduled to kick off.
FIFA cited only “the current circumstances” in announcing its decision on Wednesday, to revoke Indonesia’s hosting rights for the tournament. FIFA did not address whether protests in Indonesia against Israel’s participation in the tournament played a role in the decision.
The announcement came after a meeting between FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and the leader of the Indonesian football association (PSSI), Erick Thohir.
The 24-team tournament was scheduled to take place from May 20 to June 11.
FIFA, on Wednesday, said a new host would be announced as soon as possible, and the tournament dates would remain unchanged.
There has been political resistance in Indonesia to hosting the Israeli team that qualified for the tournament. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country, and has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
FIFA leaders had previously remained committed to Indonesia as host, despite questions and controversies.
Infantino, had also pledged that Indonesia would remain host, after a football stadium disaster in the country in October left 135 people dead.
Infantino, met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo after the disaster, and created a FIFA office to help the country restructure its football governing association.
Indonesia was initially scheduled to host the U20 World Cup in 2021, but it was delayed due to the corona pandemic. The country was selected as host over runner-up Peru.