Jumat 10 Nov 2023 13:13 WIB

U-17 World Cup 2023 Kicks Off Today

PSSI General Chairman Erick Thohir hopes the teams can perform well.

Rep: 505,722/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
The atmosphere outside the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya, East Java.
Foto: Republika/Ahmad fauji
The atmosphere outside the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya, East Java.

JAKARTA -- The grand event of the 2023 U-17 World Cup in Indonesia will start today, Friday (10/11/2023). PSSI General Chairman Erick Thohir assured that the opening event at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya, would be special.

The opening ceremony of the U-17 World Cup will be held before the match of Indonesia against Ecuador on Friday (10/11), which will be played at 19.00 WIB (GMT + 7). According to Erick, the opening event will be special because it is a door to gain world confidence that Indonesia can stage large-scale championships.

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“We have to make sure the U-17 World Cup is a success, to have the confidence to stage even bigger events. All gradual. We are proving that we can be a good host,” said Erick, who also acts as chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of this year's U-17 World Cup, on Thursday (9/11/2023).

Erick also hopes that Indonesia will not only succeed in terms of organization, but also be able to excel. “We hope that the Indonesia U-17 team can do well in this event,” Erick said.

Jadwal siaran langsung timnas Indonesia U-17 di Piala Dunia U-17 2023. - (Republika.)

In the opening ceremony, two artists, namely Wika Salim and Aurelie Moeremans, will take one stage as the main entertainers present at Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya.

Aurelie, an Indonesian-Belgian blasting artist, will perform the medley “No Comment-Rungkad” accompanied by 20 dancers. Meanwhile, Wika, the 31-year-old singer will burn the spirits of Merah Putih supporters by singing the song “Bersama Garuda” (“We Are Together”) along with 20 dancers.

To help bring about the excitement of the opening of the championship, Erick appointed Wishnutama Kusubandio. Wishnutama, a former minister of tourism and creative economy, was the main actor behind the excitement of the opening ceremony of the 2023 Asian Summit, the G-20 Bali, and the creative figure behind the splendor of the opening of the 2018 Asian Games.

“Setting up an eight- to 10-minute opening event is a challenge. Unlike the Asian Summit or the G-20, the timing is rather loose. With their capacity and experience, I believe Wishnutama and his team can present a proud opening,” said the former Inter Milan president. 

Wishnutama said that all preparations for the opening of the U-17 World Cup have been completed. He also admitted that during the creation of the opening concept of the U-17 World Cup he received many creative ideas input from Erick and President Joko Widodo.

“Preparations for the opening event of the U-17 World Cup have been completed. Creative ideas, stage design, performers, artists and personnel involved in them. I had a lot of discussions with regard to creative ideas, not only with Mr. Erick, but also with President Jokowi. While at IKN, he even took the time to convey creative thoughts and ideas related to the opening,” Wishnutama said.

“This means a lot, showing how important the opening event of the U-17 World Cup is special for Indonesia. My team and I will work hard to present an opening ceremony that will make Indonesian people proud,” he continued.

Wika and Aurelie are very grateful to be involved in the special opening ceremony of the 2023 U-17 World Cup. “With all the humility of the day, I would like to give him the opportunity and support to be able to contribute to the opening event. Hopefully, through the song I sang, the Indonesian U-17 national team can be more excited when competing in the 2023 U-17 World Cup,” Wika said.

Meanwhile, Aurelie did not forget to cheer for the Indonesian U-17 team that will compete. “Play with passion, believe in your abilities, and maintain the determination to achieve success. This is a great opportunity to prove the potential of Indonesian football to the world,” Aurelie said.

Head of the Department of Youth Culture and Sports and Tourism (Disbudporapar) of Surabaya City Wiwiek Widayati confirmed the readiness of Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (GBT) to hold the opening ceremony of the U-17 World Cup. The local committee, she said, continues to make periodic refinements and cleanups.

Empat stadion megah untuk talenta muda di Piala Dunia U-17 2023. - (Republika.)

“For the preparation it is 100 percent, as Pak Ketum (PSSI) revealed. We are now only doing refinement and cleaning,” Wiwiek said on Thursday (9/11/2023).

The entire division has optimized preparations so that the opening can go smoothly and hilariously. Wiwiek confirmed that there was no record of anything from FIFA indicating that the entire preparatory phase had been carried out properly.

“All divisions have optimized preparations, maximized, for the event on November 10, 2023. God willing, everything is in the clear,” she said.

Wiwiek hopes that the residents of Surabaya can be a good host. Moreover, this is an international event, where every match will be of concern to the world community.

“Of course, we expect the residents of the City of Surabaya to be able to be a good host,” she said. 

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