FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has confirmed Argentina as the new host nation of this year’s Under-20 World Cup, replacing Indonesia.
The decision was taken by the Bureau of the FIFA Council following an on-site inspection by a FIFA delegation to the South American country last week to assess the proposed tournament venues and associated infrastructure.
Argentina submitted a bid to stage the tournament after Indonesia was stripped of hosting rights late last month (March), with FIFA president Gianni Infantino stating it was in “pole position” to take over.
The competition was taken away from the Southeast Asian country after the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) had canceled the draw for the tournament on March 24 because Bali's governor Wayan Koster refused to host Israel's team and called for the nation to be banned from the competition.
Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country, does not have any formal diplomatic ties with Israel, and recent protests were held in its capital Jakarta in support of Palestine demanding that Israel not be allowed to compete in the tournament.
Having been awarded the hosting rights to the tournament, Argentina will compete in the event in place of Indonesia.
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With a new host quickly found, the U-20 World Cup will take place on its original dates from May 20 to June 11.
Argentina is synonymous with the competition as the most successful nation in its history, winning it six times. The country has also staged the tournament once previously, in 2001.
The U-20 World Cup was last held in 2019 in Poland as the 2021 edition, which Indonesia was originally scheduled to host, was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.