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Qatari refereeing trio to officiate Indonesia’s FIFA U-20 World Cup

For the past few years, Qatar has grown in reputation for football refereeing on the international pitch. 

Three Qatari referees have been summoned to officiate at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia, Qatar News Agency reported on Monday.

Salman Ahmed Falahi and assistant referees Ramzan Saeed Al Naemi and Majed Al Shammari have been called to international duty at the tournament, set to kick off from the 20 of May to the 11 of June.

The trio will dart back onto the pitch after officiating at the finals of the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.

The move marks a firm testimony of FIFA’s confidence in Qatar’s international arbitration team and comes after Qatar’s Abdulrahman al-Jassim refereed in the third-place fixture of the 2022 World Cup as head official.

Al-Jassim was also joined by Taleb al-Marri and Saoud Ahmed al-Maqaled, marking the second time the trio has officiated a World Cup game.

A tight inspection from FIFA’s football governing body is performed when selecting referees for international competitions.

The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup will witness 24 teams contend for the title.

However, Indonesia’s tournament hosting is in serious jeopardy after the men’s U-20 World Cup draw was cancelled due to Bali’s governor Wayan Koster refusing to host Israel’s team in the competition.

Bali’s governor sent a letter banning the squad due to Israel’s apartheid policies in Palestine, which it has occupied for decades.

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) voiced that the draw was cancelled due to Koster’s continued rejection of the Israeli national team’s presence, which is against FIFA laws.

“The draw has been cancelled. We can understand that because there was a rejection from Bali’s governor,” PSSI executive committee member Arya Sinulingga conveyed in a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday.

“Israel is a participant, and the draw cannot be done without all participants,” Sinulingga added.

FIFA has yet to comment on the latest developments and whether the event will even take place.

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