FIFA strong ‘pitch’ against GBK concerts


Indonesian authorities allow concerts despite FIFA will Image: Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium, Gunawan Kartapranata, CC BY-SA 4.0

FIFA has registered concerns about the state of the pitch in Jakarta’s (Indonesia) Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium (GBK) ahead of upcoming concerts by BLACKPINK (South Korean girl group) and the Indonesian singer and songwriter Raisa.

‘NME’ stated that FIFA had previously refused a request to allow the usage of the stadium for activities other than football, including BLACKPINK and Raisa’s upcoming concerts, with FIFA Men’s Tournament Manager Christian Schmolzer sending a letter to the Football Association of Indonesia Secretary General Yunus Nusi that reads in part, “Holding two concerts with several days of preparation and flurry of activities on the playing field will greatly hinder us from implementing the field management program as planned.”

BLACKPINK are scheduled to perform in the Jakarta venue on March 11th-12th as part of the Asian leg of their ‘Born Pink’ world tour, with tickets for both days already sold out. Raisa is set to hold her concert at the stadium on February 25th.

The International Association Football Federation (FIFA) is the international governing body of association football, beach soccer and futsal. It was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, its membership now comprises 211 national associations.

The 77,193-capacity Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium, formerly Senayan Main Stadium and Gelora Senayan Main Stadium, is a multipurpose stadium located at the center of the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex in Central Jakarta, Indonesia. It is mostly used for football matches.

BLACKPINK is a South Korean girl group formed by YG Entertainment, consisting of members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.

Raisa Andriana, better known by her mononym Raisa, is an Indonesian singer and songwriter. She became publicly known for her song titled ‘Serba Salah’. Prior to her solo career, she was one of the lead vocalists of Kevin Aprilio’s band, Andante, which later renamed as Vierra.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup Project Committee lead Maaike Ira Puspita informed on February 10th that the Indonesian committee has been in constant communication with the football governing body over the concerts, adding, “The priority is the quality of the grass. This is an issue we continue to coordinate over.”

‘NME’ further stated that as such, the BLACKPINK and Raisa concerts will be held at the GBK Stadium as planned.

Head honcho Adryanto Pratono of Raisa concert organizers Juni said last month that the organizers, on their part, would endeavor to keep the pitch in top shape – “Just like all of us who do love this stadium. I, personally, and Raisa love this stadium very much and are very proud to be here. So believe me, with all our strength we are committed to maintaining this stadium. That’s really all I can do.”

In November 2022, Indonesian Minister of Youth and Sport Zainudin Amali proclaimed that BLACKPINK would “certainly not” be allowed to carry out their concert at the stadium due to the FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament, though ticketing details for BLACKPINK’s concerts were announced a week after his proclamation, with the stadium still advertised as the venue.

Amali later did a U-turn and said, “If FIFA allows, please go ahead. But if they do not, that is not on me.”

The 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup™ will be held in six Cities across Indonesia from May 20th to June 11th, showcasing the world’s best young talents from 24 nations. The above stadium has undergone revamp work ahead of the tournament.

The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup™ will be the 23rd edition of the FIFA U-20 World Cup™, the biennial international men’s youth football championship contested by the under-20 national teams of the member-associations of FIFA, since its inception in 1977 as the FIFA World Youth Championship.

Not ‘Music’ to FIFA Ears

‘CNN Indonesia’ earlier stated that the FIFA U-20 World Cup Local Organizing Committee in Indonesia admitted that they had indeed discussed with FIFA the Raisa and BLACKPINK concerts which will be held in February and March 2023 at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium.

Puspita informed that FIFA was okay with the concerts as long as the pitch is in great shape and the state of the grass is maintained which is the topmost priority.

Added Puspita, “We are in constant touch with FIFA and have informed them about the above concerts in the beginning of the year itself.”

‘CNN Indonesia’ further stated that both the musical acts are expected to attract crowds to the tune of tens of thousands – the GBK itself has an official capacity of 77,193.

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