The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) announced on Thursday a financial freeze on the Indonesian Football Association after Indonesia lost its right to host this year’s Under-20 World Cup.
FIFA has barred the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian country from hosting the tournament, which starts on May 11, after the local federation announced the cancellation of the lottery because Bali’s ruler refused to host an Israeli team.
Protests took place in the capital Jakarta last month, during which demonstrators carried the flags of Palestine and Indonesia, demanding that Israel be excluded from the tournament.
The refusal to organize the tournament caused the anger of fans and players of the football-obsessed country.
FIFA said in a statement that it “recommended a temporary restriction” on the use of the FIFA development fund for Indonesia, and said it would consider lifting the ban after examining Jakarta’s plans to develop the game locally.
Indonesian FA President Eric Tohir announced in a statement that the “administrative sanction” would affect the “operational needs of the federation” without providing further details, highlighting President Joko Widodo’s instructions to develop the sport, including refurbishing more than 20 stadiums.
“Indonesia can avoid the harsh punishment of exclusion from world football. It’s more like a yellow card than a red one,” he added.
FIFA banned Indonesia from international competition in 2015 due to government interference.