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Bali’s Governor Once More Declines to Welcome Israel to the World Beach Games

April 18, 2023 Indonesia Sports

Sports officials are worried that the cancellation of the Games as a result of Bali Governor Wayan Koster’s rejection to permit Israeli participation.

JAKARTA – Following his statement on Friday regarding the World Beach Games, which are scheduled to take place from August 5-12 in the island province, Bali Governor Wayan Koster has explained his repeated reluctance to permit Israeli participation.

Following a meeting between Koster, Dito Ariotedjo, Raja Sapta Oktohari, the head of the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI), and Koster, the Youth and Sports Ministry announced on Friday that it had reached an agreement with the Bali Provincial Government to allow the World Beach Games to proceed as planned.

Koster was reported as declaring that the Bali administration was fully committed to supporting the Games in a ministerial statement released on Friday.

Koster stated in the ministry’s statement, which left out any mention of the Israeli team’s participation in the competition, that “there has been an agreement with Bali, […] and as the host, the Bali provincial administration will lend its full support so [the World Beach Games] can run smoothly and will be a success.”

In a written statement on Saturday, Koster explained that his backing was contingent: “I remain consistent in refusing the Israeli team’s participation in the 2023 World Beach Games in Bali.”

The nation’s youngest sports minister, Dito, who took office less than two weeks ago, declared on Friday that Bali has given its complete support to hosting the multi-sport competition.

At the time, he stated, “The agreement is that the governor and the Bali administration will support the 2023 World Beach Games 100 percent.”

The governor of Bali refuted the claim, saying, “I emphasize that this news is not true,” adding that he had stressed at the meeting on Friday that the Constitution and humanity must be protected in Bali’s hosting of the 2023 World Beach Games.

It indicates that the Israeli squad shouldn’t compete in the Bali 2023 World Beach Games, according to Koster.

Sports leaders are worried that Koster’s reluctance to permit Israeli participation could result in the cancellation of the Games.

In a previous dispute over the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup, Koster insisted on forbidding the Israeli soccer team from competing in the nation, as did Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, a fellow member of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), and other prominent figures.

FIFA therefore revoked Indonesia’s hosting rights for the soccer competition, which was slated to take place from May 20 to June 11, and frozen the development funding designated for the national soccer organization.

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