Jakarta, MINA – Head of MUI for Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim said the Indonesian government and Indonesian Football Association (PSSI)-ranking officials, including PSSI should follow President Ir. Soekarno, who was firm and courageous in rejecting the presence of the Israeli contingents at the 1962 Asian Games.
“Because Israel is an occupier,” said Sudarnoto in a press statement received by MINA on Monday, in response to the planned presence of the Israeli Football Team in Indonesia at the U-20 World Cup next May.
According to him, even though he had to leave the IOC, with this refusal, Indonesia at that time actually gained a political position that was reckoned with internationally.
The U-20 Cup event itself will be held in Indonesia from May 20 to June 11 2023. The Israel National Football Team is one of the eleven teams that will compete besides seven other countries, namely Indonesia, England, France, Italy, Slovakia, the United States and Honduras.
The matches will be held in six cities, namely Gelora Karno (Jakarta), Jakabaring Stadium (Palembang), Harupat Starling Stadium (Bandung), Manahan Stadium (Solo), Gelora Tomo Stadium (Surabaya), and Captain I Wayan Dipta Stadium (Gianyar, Bali). . This soccer world cup should have been held in 2021, but due to Covid it was postponed to 2023.
Sudarnoto explained that the problem for Indonesia was the presence of the Israeli team. This is very sensitive in the wider community because it relates to the Zionist occupation of the Palestinian people which has lasted for a long time to this day.
“Indonesia is a country and a nation that from the beginning until now has continued to support, defend and assist Palestine to be free from the occupation of the terrorist state of Israel and form self-government that is independent and sovereign,” he said.
For this reason, continued Sudarnoto, the Indonesian government remains committed not to open diplomatic relations with Israel. This has been confirmed by President Joko Widodo and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) support this firm stance.
“This firm stance of not opening diplomatic relations with Israel must be maintained and maintained wholeheartedly as long as Israel continues to colonize the Palestinian people,” he said.
Sudarnoto also reminded the government not to give Israel the slightest opening to enter Indonesia through any means, including the U-20 soccer world cup.
“Keep the mandate of the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution, the President’s commitment and the honor or dignity of the Indonesian Nation and State wholeheartedly; appear boldly and firmly in rejecting the presence of the Israeli entourage entering Indonesian territory for the U-20 football world cup,” he stressed.
Sudarnoto regretted that the attitude of the government and in particular PSSI still did not want to hear the suggestions and criticisms given. Even asking for suggestions and input from the public was never done until the big event of the U-20 World Cup was held.
“This is the attitude of the government that is not wise and can even be counter-productive. Don’t hold events that have the potential to cause controversy and uproar in society,” he said.
According to him, many elements of society and figures including the MUI used their constitutional rights to give advice and openly remind the government to reconsider their attitude of accepting and guaranteeing the safety of the Israeli team competing in Indonesia.
Apart from that, ahead of the election, the national building should have been strengthened, don’t let the differences in views and attitudes of the people instead escalate the conflict because the government is imposing its will to accept and provide official security for the Israeli national team.
This will hurt the Palestinian people and nation because of the government’s warm and official welcome to Israel, because the Israeli flag will fly in Indonesia, Israeli chants, yells and attributes will color the playing arena. Besides that, the presence of the Israeli national team also has great potential to cause uproar and even conflict among the people which actually undermines unity.
“Before it’s too late, the government should reconsider its decision to accept and provide security guarantees for the Israeli national team. Protect this republic from certain forces that try to oppose society through the U-20 soccer world cup event,” he said. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)