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Palestinian Ambassador Calls Israel National Team Presence According to FIFA Rules


Jakarta – Israel will officially appear and become a participant in the U-20 World Cup, and Indonesia will be the host. Even so, Indonesia’s position remains consistent and has never changed and continues to support peace and freedom for the Palestinian people.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a familiar issue in the international community. There are many reasons for the conflict between the two Middle Eastern countries, including religion, politics, economy, territory, and even ideology. What is certain is that this conflict has caused many casualties. Broadly speaking, the conflict between the two countries is related to the claims of both parties to the Palestinian territories that are now Israel and a Palestinian state that is not yet independent, even though several countries have recognized Palestinian sovereignty.

Palestine is an area that attracts the attention of other nations, geographically this area is very strategic because it connects Asia, Africa and Europe. At the time of the intervention of the British government, these two nations were given a promise to form an independent government. Of course these two are at odds with each other to claim the Palestinian territories. In the end, the British existence did not go well as mandated by the United Nations (UN). Because of this failure, the Jewish group proclaimed the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

It is undeniable that indeed one of the events that took a lot of lives and material damage, was the Gaza war. The Gaza War was a battle in the Gaza Strip, where it was reported that 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed by Israeli airstrikes since May 10, 2021.

Even so, in fact the conflict will have a completely different context and cannot be simply included when it comes to sports matters such as the implementation of the U-20 World Cup, in which Indonesia hosted the event, and Israel was one of the participating countries.

Even though he allowed Israel’s participation in the U-20 World Cup in Indonesia, this does not mean that politically Indonesia immediately agrees with whatever Israel does. The reason is that these two things are different domains and cannot be mixed up.

In fact, Indonesia itself continues to provide full support to Palestine. Regarding this matter, the Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia Zuhair Al-Shun responded to the Israeli national team’s participation in the U-20 World Cup which will be held in Indonesia. In a press conference in Jakarta, Wednesday, March 15 2023, Zuhair stated that he had no doubts about Indonesia’s commitment to support.

Zuhair emphasized that Israel’s participation in the tournament was in accordance with the rules of the International Football Federation (FIFA) and did not necessarily diminish Indonesia’s support for the Palestinian cause. However, there are still some parties who doubt Indonesia’s position towards Palestine.

Zuhair also emphasized that he really wanted to get rid of the doubts that some of these parties had and as he felt, heard and saw. Zuhair believes that the support given by Indonesia to Palestine has never changed.

He also knows how each world federation has its own rules, including FIFA. Then Indonesia actually won the bidding and managed to host the U-20 World Cup. And of course the participation of country participants in the U-20 World Cup, has absolutely nothing to do with the likes or dislikes of that country.

Zuhair also stated that Indonesia was only providing facilities for holding the U-20 World Cup. Then each country participates as part of the competition, which is entirely in accordance with applicable regulations.

Indonesia’s consistency and firmness in supporting the Palestinian nation has always been demonstrated in various regional and multilateral forums, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). He also appreciated the attitude of Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi who always voiced the interests of the Palestinian people in international forums, including recently at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the UN Human Rights Council, and the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in India.

Furthermore, Zuhair also dismissed the issue that Israel’s participation in the U-20 World Cup was the beginning of the normalization of Indonesia-Israel relations. According to him, the issues circulating in the mass media were deliberately created by Israel to trigger misunderstandings between Palestine and the countries that support it.

Indonesia continues to consistently and never change to support the Palestinian nation. Although Israel participated in the U-20 World Cup event held by Indonesia. This is because sports issues are completely different from geopolitical conflicts.

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