| JAKARTA (17 Feb 2010) – After almost two months of deliberating, the Indonesian government handed down a ‘no’ verdict on a possible 2022 FIFA World Cup bid for Indonesia.
Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare, Agung Laksono said that the government would not back the bid or issue an official letter of guarantee to FIFA.
Football’s world governing body required prospective World Cup hosts to provide such letters in order to remain in the running.
“To host such a big event, we need to do thorough preparation. It’s not something that is easy to do,” Agung said.
“We have sent a letter to FIFA saying that, for the time being, Indonesia’s top priority is to develop the game here for better achievement. We don’t want just to become an event organizer. We want to make our game better. Perhaps we’ll back up a bid in the future.”
Indonesia’s bid was accepted in March 2009, adding it to a list of 2018 and 2022 hopefuls that included Australia, England, Japan, Qatar, Russia, South Korea and the United States – plus joint bids from Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands.
Agung said his office would join forces with the State Ministry for Youth and Sports Affairs, the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) and the National Sports Committee to hold a forum involving all football stakeholders in the country.
The forum, scheduled for March in Malang, East Java, was initiated after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono voiced concern last month about the nation’s dismal football achievements and asked clubs, fans and the media to discuss ways the nation can improve.
State Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs Andi Alifian Mallarangeng said that the forum would not be used as a vehicle to oust current PSSI officials from their positions.
“We’ll just try to find better ways to develop football here so we can be a force in the region once again,” Andi said. “This forum is not a government intervention into the PSSI.”
PSSI secretary general Nugraha Besoes declined to comment on the government’s decision.
SOURCE: The Jakarta Globe