Sun, 05 Sep 1999

Club undecided on Hariyanto's plan

JAKARTA (JP): The Djarum Kudus badminton club in Kudus, Central Java, has dithered over whether to allow Hariyanto Arbi, a member of the club, to switch allegiance from Indonesia to Singapore after he finishes competing in the Indonesian Open in Denpasar, Bali.

The head of the club, Syaifful Arisanto, said Hariyanto, nicknamed Hari, had not mentioned the plan to him while the two were at the US$150,000 Indonesian Open badminton championship, which ends on Sunday.

"When I accompanied my club's players to Denpasar where the championship is held, I met Hariyanto Arbi, but he did not tell me anything about this plan. If he really plans to move ... I am sure Hari would mention it to me," he was quoted by Antara as saying from Kudus, Central Java, on Saturday.

He said Hariyanto had not talked about the plan to move to Singapore with his brother, Hastomo Arbi, himself a former national player.

But Syaifful said the 27-year-old player had implied his intention to play for Taiwan like his fellow countryman Fung Permadi.

Hariyanto, the two-time All-England champion and 1996 Olympic semifinalist, sparked controversy last week when he announced, prior to the Singapore Open singles final, that he would quit Indonesia for Singapore.

He won the title after defeating teammate Taufik Hidayat.

Hariyanto, ranked 30 in the world, argued that he had limited opportunities back home, particularly for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

He cited his poor performances during the Sudirman Cup and World Championship in Copenhagen last May. In the latter tournament, he lost to Denmark's Peter Gade-Christensen in the second round.

Moh. Anwari, who is in charge of athlete development at Djarum Kudus club, said Hariyanto might bear resentment against the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), which issued a new rule on player participation in international tournaments.

Under the rule, a player refusing the selection process is not allowed to compete overseas, although he or she may go on his own account.

"Before the SEA Games, Hariyanto had complained to me on that matter. He disagreed with the rule which stated that players who wanted to compete in international events should undergo selection, and mentioned his past achievement that brought fame to this country," he said.

Anwari said Hariyanto wanted to continue his badminton career as he was not too old to play anymore.

He also said that Hari did not reject the selection process as long as all the players, currently groomed in the training center at Cipayung, East Jakarta, should go through the same process.

He said that rising star Taufik and Budi Santoso could play overseas without selection.

"I am senior enough and have international achievements ... should I go through the selection process each time we want to play in an international event?" Anwari quoted Hariyanto as saying.

He said Hariyanto would withdraw from his training when he felt he must. "If a player feels that he or she can't progress further, he or she would feel ashamed and decide to withdraw from the training center," he said.(ivy)