Indonesia: Road to the 2022 FIFA World Cup™-For the World, for the Game, for the planet safety
“A poor state is a state that has no dreams at all!” ~ Adhyaksa Dault, Minister for Youths and Sports of Indonesia
Now, we are talking about something serious. The nation, whose national football team is at the 144th ranking in the World Ranking List, believe it or not, are declaring its intention in biding for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ as host! I now some of us must have been gasping by this fact, some of us are thinking innocently, “How on earth PSSI can do such daring dream like that?” or maybe other reactions. But, let me tell my opinion here.
The first time I heard the fact, my mouth opened in awe: they were brave enough to submit the form to FIFA, while on the other hand, something ironic still happening up till this day: a bad PSSI organization, bad leagues, bad quality of players and national team, bad infrastructures, bad behavior of SOME supporters (once again, SOME, not all), and whether we have adequate money or not for building around 11 more stadiums beside Gelora Bung Karno (88.000); Jakabaring (40.000); and Palaran (60.000). Can you believe it? (*lol*)
INI KANDANG KITA! (This is our home!) Well, this is our home, but our achievements (not necessarily champions or trophies, I know) in international competitions. Indonesia – as Dutch East Indies – was the first national team from the Asia continent ever participated in the World Cup, back at 1938 (well, they were beaten 0-6 by the eventual runner-up Hungary in Reims, France). It made history, really. But ever since, we’ve never qualified again for the World Cup.
How about Asian Cup? Well, at least we’ve participated in the last 4 championships, winning 2 matches, drawing 2, and lost all 8 left. I have to admit that Indonesia tasted a lot of improvement back at the 2007 Asian Cup, when we defeated Bahrain (2-1); closely held Saudi Arabia to a draw (1-2) – infamous in Indonesia because many people said that the referee (which came from the Middle East too), made a bad call for a free kick in the last minute of the injury time, which angered our President – ; and closely held South Korea to a draw (0-1).
Even if we see Tiger Cup – formerly – which had transformed into Asian Football Federation Cup (or AFF Cup). Indonesia are 3 times runner-ups, without winning every single one of them. See the last AFF Cup back at 2008? We were beaten by Singapore (0-2), and Thailand (1-3 AGG) both home and away! The Garuda still cannot face the Elephant! How can we dare taking the host of a World Cup?
There’s a factual tradition: every host country(ies) of World Cup must, will, should, and have progress(ed) to the second round (at least!). See for examples, Italy (1938, winner); England (1966, winner); South Korea (2002, fourth place); Japan (2002, Final 16). If only, Indonesia is the host of the World Cup, will we progress?
I was skeptical, in the past. But somehow, I am now optimistic for the bid. See the Wikipedia article I quoted below the PSSI logo above? It says that we have one major requirement of hosting the World Cup, by having Gelora Bung Karno (88.000 seats) for hosting the closing ceremony and final. We do have some good points as host, which I won’t discuss here. But really, skepticism is still something.