Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in Gianyar District, Bali Province, is ready to help Indonesia make history as the host of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-20 World Cup.
The revitalization of the home of the Bali United Football Club (FC) as a world-class sports venue has been carried out since 2020, as initially Indonesia was scheduled to host the cup in 2021.
However, FIFA postponed the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The federation later decided to award the hosting rights of the cup to Indonesia in 2023.
Thus, the government is preparing to hold the tournament from May 20 to June 11, 2023.
Preparations for the World Cup almost ran aground in the aftermath of a stampede at Kanjuruhan Stadium, Malang district, East Java province, following an Arema FC-Persebaya FC match on October 1, 2022, which left 135 dead and 500 injured.
After the Indonesian government and FIFA had a discussion regarding the tragedy, the federation decided against revoking Indonesia’s hosting rights for the cup.
The decision was conveyed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino when he met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, on October 18, 2022.
After the meeting, Infantino said he was confident that Indonesia would prove that it was capable of improving its football ecosystem and recovering from the tragedy.
As a follow-up to that meeting, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir and the then Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali met the FIFA president in Qatar in December 2022.
The meeting was held in Qatar as Thohir and Amali wanted to see the implementation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the Middle Eastern country for pointers that Indonesia could emulate during the 2023 World Cup.
"Hopefully, during the U-20 World Cup next year (in 2023), Indonesia can level or even exceed Qatar’s (FIFA World Cup) success," Thohir said after attending the meeting.
The Indonesian government has proposed six venues for the cup, including Gelora Bung Karno Stadium (Jakarta), Si Jalak Harupat Stadium (Bandung, West Java Province), Manahan Stadium (Solo, Central Java Province), and Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (Surabaya, East Java Province).
The other venues comprise Gelora Sriwijaya Jakabaring Stadium (Palembang, South Sumatra Province) and Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium (Gianyar, Bali Province).
The Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry has spent a total of Rp175 billion (US$11.26 million) on revitalizing the six stadiums as well as 20 training fields.
The training fields prepared in Bali comprise Ngurah Rai Stadium, Gelora Samudra Kuta Stadium, Gelora Tri Sakti Legian Field, and Kompyang Sujana Denpasar Field.
On the sidelines of his working visit to Bali in February 2023 with President Widodo, PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono told ANTARA that all preparations for the U-20 competition would be completed before April 2023.
Preparations in Gianyar
While inspecting the Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in 2020, the PUPR Minister informed that the stadium’s basic structures and infrastructure; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installation; pitch; spectator seats; locker rooms; as well as scoreboards would be improved.
The PUPR Ministry would also install 2,400 lux field lighting, grow grass on the pitch in accordance with FIFA standards, and arrange the parking lots, he said.
The renovation of Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium is now complete. The venue is currently closed for hosting activities as the government is seeking to maintain its condition.
Thus, Bali United FC have temporarily moved their home base to Sultan Agung Stadium, Bantul district, Yogyakarta province, for the remaining matches of the second round of the 2022–2023 BRI Liga 1 – the top Indonesian professional league.
Meanwhile, the chief of Bali Regional Police (Polda), Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra, visited Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium in January 2023 to strengthen security coordination between the police and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the World Cup.
Chairperson of the LOC for Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium, Ketut Suantika, said that the Polda Bali chief shared a number of recommendations to improve the preparedness of the stadium.
"There are several things to note, especially regarding the security; parking lot and spectator arrival arrangements; directions and signs; as well as other things to support the successful implementation of this international competition," Suantika informed.
The Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium has passed a risk assessment conducted by the National Police Headquarters with a score of 80.06, meaning its facilities are adequate for hosting matches.
State-run electricity provider PT PLN’s Bali Main Distribution Unit (UID) also reviewed the readiness of the stadium, along with a FIFA official, Christian Schmölzer, in January 2023.
The general manager of PT PLN’s Bali UID, I Wayan Udayana, assured that his party would provide reliable electricity throughout the implementation of the competition.
"During the event, electricity is needed for the field lightings, scoreboards, perimeter boards, server rooms, media centers, as well as VIP stands with a total demand of 1,805 MVA (Megavolt-ampere)," he informed.
Hence, his party has prepared two sources of power supply to prevent any flickering and unpredictable power interruptions.
Udayana said that if there is an unpredictable interruption, it would take less than a second to switch the power supply source.
Furthermore, PLN’s Bali UID will deploy 168 personnel to secure electricity at the stadium; the accommodations of the players, team officials, and VVIP guests; as well as tourism destinations and restaurants around the stadium.
"We will also ready a number of backup electricity supplies, including 11 uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units, 5 mobile substation units (UGB), and 6 generators," the general manager of PLN’s Bali UID informed.
These preparations demonstrate Bali's seriousness in welcoming the foreign national teams who will participate in the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The players who are scheduled to compete at Kapten I Wayan Dipta Stadium will certainly have an interesting opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and tourism destinations in Bali, apart from showing off their skills in the tournament.