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Jakarta Post

Indonesia to welcome Iceland for friendlies in January

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 6, 2017   /   08:15 pm
Indonesia to welcome Iceland for friendlies in January Indonesia’s Spanish manager Luis Milla (left) gives instructions during a training session on Monday, ahead of a match against Mongolia at the 2017 Aceh World Solidarity Tsunami Cup in Banda Aceh, Aceh. (Antara/Irwansyah Putra)

Indonesia are set to play Iceland, who recently qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, in two friendly matches in early January, the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI) announced on Wednesday.

Iceland’s visit to Indonesia is part of their preparations for the World Cup finals in Russia. The friendly will be co-organized by PSSI and Mediapro Asia.

“Iceland’s visit will be an opportunity for Indonesian soccer. We can learn a lot from them and we will also hold youth and coaching sessions with the Iceland team,” Marsal Masita, PSSI’s deputy secretary-general for business development, said in a statement.

Iceland surprised many by climbing to 18th in the world soccer rankings and qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after impressing in Group I.

Iceland will become the smallest country ever to take part in the World Cup finals when they travel to Russia next year, as they continue to punch above their weight for a nation of just over 300,000 people. Having grabbed the attention of the soccer world at Euro 2016, knocking out England in the last 16 before succumbing to the host France in the quarterfinals, Iceland will be targeting a similar performance in Russia.

PSSI has a busy schedule in 2018, as Indonesia, ranked 154 in the world, tries to climb up the rankings after a two year absence on the international stage because of a FIFA ban. (nkn)