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AFF U23 Championship

Indonesia pull out of AFF U23 Championship

9:45 AM MYT 11/02/2022
Timnas Indonesia U-23
The reigning champions have decided not to travel to Cambodia due to Covid and injury issues

Indonesia have pulled out of the upcoming AFF U23 Championship in Cambodia due to a number of Covid cases and injuries.

The reigning champions were among the favourites to lift the trophy on February 26 after naming a strong squad including the likes of Pratama Arhan, Ramai Rumakiek, Marselino Ferdinan and Ronaldo Kwateh.

Nevertheless, they will not be defending their title as seven players plus one team official tested positive ahead of the tournament, with another four players in isolation as they are deemed close contacts.

The Covid-attack had ruled out Ronaldo Kwateh, Muhammad Ferrari, Braif Fatari, Taufik Hidayat, Irfan Jauhari, Ahmad Figo Ramadhani and Cahya Supriyadi.

Indonesia's problems were not limited to Covid absences, however, as a number of players were doubtful due to regula injury concerns.

The titleholders' withdrawal leaves Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos as the three teams in Group B, with Malaysia and Myanmar getting their group underway on February 15, while Laos will now sit out matchday 1.

AFF President, Major General Khiev Sameth, said, “We are deeply saddened to receive the news from PSSI but fully understand and empathise with the Indonesian U23 team. The pandemic has affected many people in the ASEAN region and continues to impact our communities today. While we will miss seeing the Indonesia U23 Team defend their crown this year, we believe that the health and safety of everyone is of utmost importance and wish the affected members of the Indonesian U23 team a speedy recovery.”