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Governing Bodies

Indonesia newspaper laments World Cup hosting rights withdrawal

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‘Sports and politics don’t mix’ is the headline of an editorial published by Indonesia newspaper, The Jakarta Post.

This is in the aftermath of FIFA’s revocation of an earlier hosting rights given to Indonesia for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Following Indonesia’s refusal to allow Israel, a qualified team to feature in the competition, FIFA on Wednesday took the competition away from Indonesia.

The editorial blamed the country’s leader, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’  and his political party, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P),

for allowing politics to creep into sports in the moderate Islamic country.

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“The endgame of this affair will unfold soon, but one thing for sure is that politics still prevails in almost all aspects of life in this country.

“We have seen the weaponization of laws for political interests, as happened in the enforcement of the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law, the revision of the Criminal Code, and the politicization of religion, which was rampant during elections both in national and regional levels. The move by Bali Governor I Wayan Koster and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, who both are PDI-P members, to reject entry of the Israeli youth team is a blatant attempt to politicize sports.

“With the Feb. 14, 2024 elections in mind, the PDI-P, which failed to perform in regions known for their leaning to conservative Islam, will expect to reap votes from Muslim electorates to win both the legislative and presidential elections.

“Especially for Ganjar, who has consistently topped the opinion surveys of potential presidential candidates, his anti-Israel narrative is a display of loyalty to the party, while proving his Islamic credentials to voters. In fact, PDI-P chairwoman Megawati Soekarnoputri has not made her mind about her choice of presidential candidate. Such resistance sounds “normal” if it comes from Muslim-based parties.

“Only this time around, the PDI-P is making a big fuss of the Israel issue while it was silent about the Knesset delegation’s presence in the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which the House of Representatives hosted in Bali in March last year.

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“The PDI-P, too, was quiet when Israel assured itself of a ticket to Indonesia in July last year. It seems Indonesian soccer has been unable to break the “curse” of political intervention”, The Jakarta Post concluded.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Governing Bodies

CAF looking for hosts for CAF Awards, Women Champions League and youth tournaments

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After eventually fixing dates for Africa Cup of Nations 2025 and the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football still have major hurdles to scale.

The confederation is looking for hosts for the CAF Women’s Champions League, the U-17 and U-20 AFCON as well as the CAF Awards 2024. Morocco were the hosts for the last editions of the CAF Awards and Women’s Champions League. The confederation which opened the bids hopes to get possible responses by the time of the 46th CAF Ordinary General Assembly in Kinshasa, DR Congo on Thursday 10 October 2024.

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Governing Bodies

CAF Executive Committee to meet on Friday

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CAF President Motsepe Fails To Confirm Dates For 2025 AFCON -

Plunged with myriad of issues especially concerning regular fixtures of the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 as well as the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2024 both of which are to be held in Morocco, the  Confédération Africaine de Football CAF Executive Committee  will hold a virtual meeting on Friday.

It is expected that the congested fixtures occasioned by the women’s football event of the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as the enlarged FIFA Club World Cup 2025 will be discussed.

Till now,neither hosts nor period has been allocated for the Women’s Club Champions League which is supposed to be an annual event.

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Governing Bodies

Samuel Eto’o apologises and reinstates Cameroon coach Brys

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Former Cameroonian star forward and now football federation president Samuel Eto’o apologised Thursday to national team coach Marc Brys, with whom he had been involved in a heated exchange this week.

The ex-Barcelona striker also confirmed Brys would remain in his position after it was announced the Belgian was to be replaced as head coach of Cameroon on Wednesday.

“I apologise because during our first unfortunate meeting, there was a lot of emotion… but the Cameroonian people are more important than us, and it is for them that we must work,” said Eto’o at a press conference.

Eto’o was referring to an incident captured on video during his first meeting with Brys, which was widely shared on social media Tuesday.

The pair were seen to engage in a heated argument, before Brys left abruptly.

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“Your mission is not an easy one, despite your qualities and experience, but you should know that you will have our support,” added the two-time Africa Cup of Nations winner.

Brys was appointed to the role in April by Cameroon’s sport ministry, much to the astonishment of the country’s football federation (Fecafoot) and its president Eto’o wrote to the ministry to denounce its “illegal” appointment of the 62-year-old.

Fecafoot said it regretted not being involved “closely, nor remotely” in the selection process for the new coach and his staff.

Belgian Brys will now oversee Cameroon’s next two crucial matches in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, against Cape Verde on June 8 and Angola three days later.

-AFP

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