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Indonesia U-20 World Cup roiled by Israel participation row

Politically charged opposition in Muslim-majority country cancels tournament draw

Hundreds of conservative Muslims march in Indonesia's capital on Monday to protest against the Israeli team's participation in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.   © AP

JAKARTA -- Controversy has marred the run-up to football's Under-20 World Cup as some Muslim conservatives in host nation Indonesia oppose the entry of the Israeli team, sparking protests and forcing the postponement of the group draw.

Indonesia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel. Some provincial governors have called for Israel to be excluded from the tournament, scheduled to be held in six cities from May 20 to June 11 with teams from 24 countries.

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