The sanctions are getting heavier for Indonesia. FIFA has already withdrawn the organization of the Under-20 World Cup in 2023, after the refusal of the political authorities to receive the Israeli team. It is now also cutting off its funding. The international body has announced that it has frozen its subsidy to the Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI), paid annually as part of the development program. FIFA explains that it has decided to “temporarily restrict” the payment of FIFA Forward development funds. It says it will reconsider the sanction after a review of how Indonesia intends to improve soccer and its structures. Officially, the freezing of the funds is not directly linked to the withdrawal of the U-20 World Cup. But there is no doubt that Indonesia is in FIFA’s sights, after the tragedy of last October, when 125 fans died in a stadium after a giant stampede. PSSI president Erick Thohir, however, was very measured in his comments after the announcement of FIFA’s financial sanction. “It’s more of a yellow card than a red card,” he suggested.
— Published 7 April 2023