Indonesian Football Association will aim to hit FIFA’s spectator target for U17 World Cup

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The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) has said it will aim to hit the spectator target set by international football governing body FIFA for the upcoming U17 World Cup. 

As reported by Indonesian news agency Antara, PSSI chairman Erick Thohir said on Saturday: “We are running promotional programmes, trophy experiences, and playing [the] official song in public places.”

The U17 FIFA World Cup is set to take place from November 10 until December 2 across four stadiums: Jakarta International Stadium, Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung, Manahan Stadium in Solo and Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium in Surabaya.

Jakarta International Stadium’s inclusion in the venue line-up has come under fire, after the newly built 82,000-capacity stadium was found to fall short of FIFA’s required standards.

Indonesia was selected to replace Peru as the host of the tournament after the South American country failed to finish building the necessary infrastructure.

Some 24 counties are set to compete in the championship, with the PSSI hosting promotional events including trophy tours in a bid to boost attendance.

“Based on previous sports events in Indonesia, a tournament typically attracts a large crowd 10 days before the start of the tournament,” said Thohir.

The chairman added that there were discussions with Visa and some state-owned banks to offer discounted family packages.

“We will promote the package which has discounts. The various promotions are expected to make people flock to the stadium,” he said.

Earlier this year, FIFA stripped Indonesia of hosting rights for this year’s U20 World Cup, which instead took place in May and June in Argentina. The decision was made after the draw for the tournament in Bali was cancelled, as the province’s governor refused to host the Israeli team, which had qualified for the tournament.

Indonesia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Despite stripping Indonesia of the rights for the U20 World Cup, FIFA said it would continue to work with the country’s governing body after 135 people died in a crush during a football match at Kanjuruhan Stadium last year.