Prabowo to Follow Gibran’s Football Passion, Vows to Continue Jokowi’s Policies
Solo, Central Java. Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra) Chairman Prabowo Subianto has revealed his plan to build a football academy to follow in the step of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who owns Persis FC in Solo.
He made the revelation when visiting Gibran in Solo, the mayor of the Central Java town, on Friday evening when he also received support for his presidential bid from some of Gibran’s supporters.
In response, Prabowo said he fully supports Jokowi’s policies, especially the one that bans the export of unprocessed mining commodities such as nickel and bauxite.
“Football is my hobby. Mr. Mayor already has Persis FC and I’m in the process of building a football academy that will be formally launched in August,” Prabowo said during an informal gathering with Gibran and his supporters at a local café.
“This Sunday we will send U-16 players to an academy in Qatar,” he added.
Prabowo has a clear chance to run for the president for a third time with his Gerindra needing just one more party as a partner to meet the qualification threshold in the House of Representatives.
But he must face strong rival Ganjar Pranowo who last month was nominated by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDIP, in Jokowi’s presence.
The Central Java governor is the frontrunner for the 2024 presidential elections according to various polls and seen by many as the most adaptable successor to continue with the current government’s development programs.
Prabowo, who was defeated by Jokowi in the last two elections, now needs to out-Jokowi his rival to win support from the president’s supporters.
“Mr. Jokowi and his government initiated the so-called downstream policy under which Indonesia must not export unprocessed natural resources or raw materials,” Prabowo, who is also the defense minister, told the gathering.
“They must be processed in Indonesia to multiply the added value by hundreds. We began with nickel, and then move to bauxite,” he added.
“The president is right and I fully support his policies. If we don’t implement the downstream policy, our nation will never be prosperous, we will be still just this way.”
Prabowo thanked Gibran’s supporters after one of them declared support for his presidential bid on behalf of the group. He invited them for a gathering at his private residence in Hambalang, Bogor.
“I’m a bit surprised to hear that because I came here only to strengthen my friendship with Brother Gibran, who had visited me not long ago. This is a great honor to me,” Prabowo responded.