Sat, 02 Dec 2000

Distribute money based on achievements: Players

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian world-class shuttlers want the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) to distribute contract money from Japanese sports equipment producer Yonex, based on athlete's achievements instead of their chosen discipline within the sport.

Men's doubles specialist Candra Wijaya said on Friday that players should still receive payment for the last three months of 2000 as agreed under the 1996-2000 sponsorship deal.

"We hope the money will be disbursed to the players based on our achievements instead of our disciplines. So far, PBSI and Yonex divide the money based on the disciplines, ignoring the achievements of athletes in that discipline," he said.

Candra was referring to the bigger figure received by women's singles players than that received by mixed doubles players, despite the latter managing to contribute a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

"We haven't discussed the percentage division for the next term. We still have to draft a proposal before submitting it to chairman Subagyo (Hadisiswoyo). We will leave the percentage division to Subagyo and other officials but we have conveyed our message on the changing in contract money."

Candra and Hendrawan met Subagyo on Friday morning to discuss the contract system. Subagyo asked them to prepare a draft for the new system before discussing it with him next week.

"Pak Subagyo was very open and he gave us freedom to decide which system is best for us."

Players held an internal meeting after training to discuss any future deal. Most players wanted to have individual sponsorships instead of the ongoing collective system.

PBSI receives US$1 million from Yonex per year and is permitted to raise additional sponsorships with a combined value of $300,000 per year.

However, the idea of individual sponsorships without any other support received a mixed reaction among the shuttlers. Top players are eager to have the new system but the juniors and lower-ranked players seem unprepared.

The 1997 men's doubles world champion, Sigit Budiarto, hoped that PBSI would stage an open tender for companies before appointing any of them to become the players' sponsors.

"We were greatly assisted by our seniors under the collective system. But it doesn't suit the demand nowadays. People must respect and honor our achievements," said Sigit, who received $10,000 per three-month term during his glory days before being banned due to doping charges.

Women's doubles player Cynthia Tuwankotta also supported the idea although she was unsure of how to attract sponsors.

"The new system will boost our motivation to work harder and to achieve more in international tournaments. We will also have a bigger responsibility to the sponsor as we don't want to disappoint them," said Cynthia, ranked eighth in the world, and who only received $2,000 and Rp 11 million per three-month period.

In contrast, men's singles player Johan Hadikusuma, ranked 23rd in the world, expressed pessimism at his potential to find sponsors.

"For players with lower rankings like me, it will be difficult to get sponsors. Big companies will only contract the top players. What will happen to us," said Johan who claimed to only receive $700 and Rp 2 million each three-month term. (yan)