The Indonesian U-16 national team will take part in the ceremony for the 77th Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Wednesday (17/8), with President Joko Widodo as the ceremony inspector.
Quoted from the PSSI website in Jakarta, Tuesday, all U-16 national team players, namely 28 players, and five coaches were confirmed to be present at the ceremony, including PSSI General Chair Mochamad Iriawan.
“This is an honor for the players and of course PSSI. Thank you to Mr. President Joko Widodo and the Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali for paying so much attention to national football,” said Iriawan.
The U-16 national team was invited to the palace because they won the 2022 AFF U-16 Cup after beating Vietnam 1-0 in the final match which took place at the Maguwoharjo Stadium, Sleman, Friday (12/8).
The squad nicknamed “Garuda Asia” received a lot of appreciation for this achievement. Before being invited by the President to celebrate Independence Day at the Merdeka Palace, Muhammad Iqbal Gwijangge and his friends had already won awards in the form of money and laptops.
From PSSI, the U-16 national team pocketed a bonus of Rp. 1.385 billion. Then, the private sector gave 28 laptops to the players. For Indonesia, the 2022 AFF U-16 Cup champion title is the second in the tournament after 2018. At that time, the U-16 national team was trained by Fakhri Husaini. President Joko Widodo had also stated that the 2022 AFF U-16 Cup title was a gift for the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.
Currently, the U-16 national team players return to their respective clubs. They will return to “Garuda Asia” in the near future to prepare for the 2023 AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualification in the first week of October 2022 in Indonesia.