AFC, the Asian Football Confederation, has officially announced Indonesia as the host of the 2018 AFC under-19 Championship.
“The AFC U-19 Championship will take place on Oct. 18 to Nov. 4 next year in Indonesia,” a statement from the AFC quoted on the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) website said on Wednesday (26/07).
AFC said selecting Indonesia as host of the championship will help the country get its football scene back on track after having to endure a FIFA suspension from 2015 to 2016.
“And Indonesia’s bid was simply more convincing than the others,” the AFC said.
PSSI Deputy Chairman Joko Driyono confirmed the news and said, “We’ll prepare five stadiums instead of the usual two for this kind of event.”
The five stadiums will be Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta; Bandung Lautan Api in Bandung, West Java; Patriot Stadium and Wibawa Mukti Stadium in Bekasi, West Java; and Pakansari Stadium in Bogor, West Java.
Next year’s tournament will also function as a qualifying round for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The semifinalists will automatically get a berth in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Indonesia’s U-19 national team under coach Indra Sjafri is automatically given a place in the AFC tournament despite having to play pre-qualifying matches in South Korea next October.