The Mayor of Surabaya, Eri Cahyadi, accompanied by the General Chairperson (Ketum) of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI), Erick Thohir, and the Minister of Youth and Sports (Menpora) of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), Dito Ariotedjo, carried out the final inspection at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium (GBT) on Sunday, October 29, 2023. The inspection was to ensure that the GBT Stadium was ready to be used as a venue for the 2023 U-17 World Cup.
On that occasion, PSSI Chairman Erick Thohir, together with the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports, and Mayor Eri Cahyadi, saw several points and facilities in the stadium. "Thank God, I think the preparations are one hundred percent, and this is thanks to the Mayor, Mr. Basuki (Minister of PUPR RI), the Central Government, the Minister of Youth and Sports, of course also PLN and Telkom. Hopefully, we can make it the best opening in the history of U-17," said Erick.
Erick believes that the opening of the U-17 World Cup on November 10, 2023, at the GBT Stadium will be the best in the history of world football and in Indonesia. He is optimistic because Indonesia has been successful in holding international events several times in the past.
"In Indonesia, when we hold events, they usually excel. The Asian Games, the Asian Summit, and the G20 in Bali yesterday were all successful. Hopefully, the U-17 World Cup runs smoothly," he said.
In fact, Erick revealed that all the field and supporting facilities at the GBT Stadium and other venues had received praise from FIFA. Even though it was considered good, Erick asked everyone involved in this international event not to be arrogant. He emphasized that there were still things that needed to be anticipated before the match, such as security and traffic jams. "This is an assessment from FIFA itself. God willing, the FIFA president will be present in Jakarta at 9 PM on the 10th. GBT will come here and has a commitment to attend the opening and closing. The President (Joko Widodo) will also be present at the opening and closing," he said.
It is hoped that the opening of the U-17 World Cup will be an appreciation for the city of Surabaya, which has seriously prepared for this world-class event. "I would also like to thank the executives who were present today," he said.
Regarding the opening of the U-17 World Cup, Erick gave a tip regarding several things, one of which is that he will bring in artists for local music entertainment. Erick wants Indonesian artists and music to go global through this event.
"We support global dangdut songs, and Mr. Wishnutama is handling the choreography. Everyone has their own duties; the Minister of Youth and Sports has his duties, I also have mine, the Guardian, the Executives also have their duties," he explained.
In addition, the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports, Dito Ariotedjo, also expressed his gratitude to all levels involved in preparing for the U-17 World Cup, especially to Mayor Eri Cahyadi. According to him, the Surabaya City Government (Pemkot), PSSI Executives, BUMN, and PUPR have prepared the GBT Stadium venue very well.
"This has exceeded one hundred percent. I think the opening will be the best in U-17 history, we can be sure and guarantee it. Because Mr. Erick Thohir is all about detail and perfectionism," said Dito.
The Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports, whose full name is Ario Bimo Nandito Ariotedjo, hopes that information and promotions related to the U-17 World Cup can continue to be intensified. Remember, the opening of the U-17 World Cup is only 12 days away. "Hopefully the promotion and information related to U-17, which is only 12 days away, can be conveyed throughout Indonesia and can make Indonesia proud in the eyes of the world," he said.
Apart from that, Mayor Eri Cahyadi also expressed his gratitude to the Chairman of PSSI, the Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sports, and the Minister of PUPR for helping the Surabaya City Government in preparing the GBT Stadium as a venue for the U-17 World Cup. "Without the support of everyone I mentioned, it would be impossible for the GBT Stadium to become what it is today. Once again, thank you," he concluded.