Fri, 12 Aug 1994

KONI receives donation of Rp 1.6 billion for Asiad

JAKARTA (JP): After months of waiting the national squad for Asia's greatest sporting extravaganza has found a helping hand for its financial shortcomings, although some crucial problems have yet to be resolved.

A group of five entrepreneurs, who requested anonymity, gave Rp 1.6 billion (more than US$738,300) in checks to the national sports governing body (KONI), cutting the deficit of its set budget for the Games to Rp 1.4 billion ($646.050).

"The generous businessmen even said that they were willing to donate more," KONI chairman Surono said after an unusual leadership meeting with his staff yesterday.

Since January, KONI has been pounding the pavement, trying to find some Rp 3 billion ($1.38 million) needed to send the national athletes to Hiroshima and cover their daily expenses during their stay at competitions, which run from Oct. 2 to 16.

The sports body set a total budget of Rp 6.5 billion ($3 million), with more than a half of the amount used to fund the training sessions and try-outs of the national athletes.

KONI used the left-over funds, worth Rp 2.5 billion ($1.15 million) to finance the national team's preparations for the Games. These funds were provided by organizers of the now defunct national lottery SDSB and almost one billion rupiah ($461,500) of government's subsidies.

Attendants of yesterday's meeting also included Soesilo Soedarman, Coordinating Minister for Political Affairs and Security, Faisal Abda'oe, President Director of the state-run oil company Pertamina, Kunarto, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Audit Agency.

Soesilo and timber baron Mohammad (Bob) Hasan are KONI officials in charge of collecting the funds.

Surono expressed his guarded optimism that KONI would meet the budget by the date the national contingent left for the Games.

"A fund raising night is the last alternative," Surono said. KONI and the National Games organizing committee scooped up more than Rp 4.0 billion ($1.8 million) during a fund raising party last year.


Surono also indicated that Indonesia might take part in 16 events at the continent's 12th Games, fielding between 120 and 150 sportsmen and women.

The number of events is higher than the 12 hosted at the 1990 meet in Beijing, but the figure of this year's contingent will fall to around 200 from 250 four years ago. The Indonesian squad in 1990 included 138 athletes.

The Hiroshima Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) has asked the participating countries to drop the number of "unnecessary" officials due to limited accommodations.

Surono revealed that the sports that Indonesia is now most likely to take part in are badminton, tennis, archery, boxing, rowing, track and field, cycling, archery, weightlifting, wind surfing, shooting, karate, wushu, sepak takraw, equestrian events, taekwondo, and judo.

KONI will send the entry forms with the names of participating athletes by next week, but Surono said changes are allowed until at the end of this month. "Changes will mean a drop," Surono said.

KONI is currently sorting out which athletes deserve spots on the national team. It will officially announce the lineup on Sept. 2. (amd)