Sat, 03 Jun 2000

KONI to clarify report on illegal migrant workers

JAKARTA (JP): Secretary General of the National Sports Council (KONI) Rudolf S. Warouw said he would invite representatives of three sports organizations to respond to allegations that they had sent illegal migrant workers overseas by falsely identifying them as athletes and sports official.

Warouw was commenting on a recent report by the local daily Media Indonesia accusing the Indonesian Table Tennis Association (PTMSI), the Indonesian Archery Association (Perpani) and the Indonesian Taekwondo Association (TI) of selling visas to migrant workers identified as athletes and sports officials who would compete in overseas tournaments.

"I'm not so sure about the allegations. We will check this information with officials of the sports organizations. If the reports prove to be true, we will take stern measures with those responsible," he said on Friday.

He said that the council also would seek clarification from other sports organizations to avoid any crisis of confidence towards Indonesian continents from foreign hosts.

He said that visas are issued by KONI and are approved by the state minister of youth affairs and sports.

"Sponsoring sports organizations are required to put the names of the athletes and coaches on the visas," he said, adding that KONI did not easily accept names submitted by sports organizations.

"We have to maintain our good image, particularly in the countries where our athletes perform. If an organization gave unknown names to us, we would ask them. Basically, we do not allow people who have no connection with the competition or tournament to go," he said.

He said he would ask the council's legal commission to deal with the cases if any of the accusations proved to be true.

In an unrelated matter, Warouw, who just returned from the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC) meeting (May 24-May 26) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said that Malaysia had expressed its hope to host the 2008 Olympic Games.

He also said that Malaysia would host the 2002 ANOC meeting to further discuss the possibility of hosting the quadrennial event. "The Malaysian government has strong political will to develop its sports," he remarked.

He said that the IOC would send its official, Pierre de Mierro, to ask KONI's opinion on East Timor's participation in this year's Olympic Games in Sydney. De Mierro is scheduled to arrive here on June 17.

"KONI will consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' about its participation. East Timor is liberated from Indonesia, so the council has no problem with its participation in Sydney," he said.

A handful of athletes from East Timor will be allowed to compete as individuals in the Sydney Olympics under the status of "Individual Olympic Athletes". They will be without national colors or anthems.

East Timor voted last year to break from 24 years of Indonesian annexation. The United Nations is helping East Timor to prepare itself for independence. (ivy)