Olympic qualification not unrealistic: Indonesian billionaire football head

By Hoang Nguyen   April 8, 2024 | 03:29 pm PT
The President of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), billionaire Erick Thohir is confident of Olympic qualification for the U23 team and has assigned coach Shin Tae-yong with the task.

The 2024 U23 Asian Cup is also the qualifier for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The top three teams of the tournament will qualify, while the fourth place will face an African team in a playoff for the remaining ticket.

Indonesia are in Group A with Jordan, Australia and Qatar. This is a tough group as the opponents of Indonesia are all top teams in Asia.

PSSI president Thohirm has assigned the task of taking Indonesia to the semifinals to coach Shin.

"If we can reach the semifinals of the U23 Asian Cup, it would be extraordinary. If we reach the top three, we will attend the 2024 Olympics. This is something that I don’t consider unrealistic," he said.

Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president Erick Thohir. Photo by PSSI

Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president Erick Thohir. Photo by PSSI

"Coach Shin Tae Yong wants to take the team beyond the group stage, I appreciate that. But I want Shin to bring the team to the semifinals. Indonesia also play with 11 players like other teams. What players from other teams can do, we also can."

Among the 24 players of the national team participating in the 2023 Asian Cup and 2026 World Cup qualifiers, there are over 11 U23 players.

"Indonesia are in good form and moving in a positive direction toward the achievements that fans have always dreamed of. Therefore, the U23 team need more motivation to make history," Thohir added.

U23 Indonesia lost 3-1 to U23 Saudi Arabia in a friendly match on April 5, but they beat the UAE 1-0 on April 8.

Indonesia will start their 2024 U23 Asian Cup campaign with a match against hosts Qatar on April 15. In the second game, they will play Australia before closing the group stage with a match against Jordan on April 21.

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