JAKARTA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on Tuesday expressed its opposition to Israel's participation in the FIFA U20 World Cup, which will be held in Indonesia from May 20 to June 11.
Chief of the MUI for Foreign Relations, Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim, said this is a sensitive issue for Indonesians, as the country has long supported an independent and sovereign Palestine.
"Accepting even providing security guarantees to the Israeli national team for the U20 World Cup shows that Indonesia has been subjugated by pro-Israel forces through this football diplomacy," Hakim told Xinhua on Tuesday.
Allowing the Israeli team to compete in Indonesia with its flag flying could lead to unrest and controversy in society and harm the Palestinian people, Hakim added.
Indonesia had outright opposed Israel's participation in the 1962 Asian Games.