Argentina Replace Indonesia As U-20 World Cup Hosts

Argentina will host the Under-20 World Cup from May 20 to June 11, FIFA said Monday, after taking the tournament from Indonesia just weeks before kick-off.

Having been awarded hosting rights, Argentina will also participate in Indonesia’s place. The team had failed to qualify on merit.

“FIFA is delighted to announce that this year’s edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place in Argentina, as the home of the world champions opens its doors to tomorrow’s superstars of world football,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in a statement.

FIFA withdrew hosting rights from Indonesia last month after protests against Israel’s participation the tournament.

Indonesia and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, and support for the Palestinian cause in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation runs high.

Argentina put itself forward as an alternative host, and FIFA conducted an on-site inspection of facilities last week.

The draw will take place on April 21 in Zurich.

Hours before Monday’s FIFA announcement, the Argentine government expressed its full backing for the hosting bid by the Argentine Football Association (AFA).

This despite the country facing deep economic woes, with tens of billions in IMF debt and year-on-year inflation exceeding 100 percent.

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