Thu, 23 Nov 2000

PBSI bans Taufik from two world badminton events

JAKARTA (JP): World number one men's singles shuttler Taufik Hidayat has had to bury his dream of winning the 2000 Grand Prix Final in February next year after the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) banned him from two international events.

The ban was supposed to be "educative punishment" for the 19- year-old shuttler after he criticized association officials in a series of verbal attacks, especially chairman Subagyo Hadisiswoyo.

"PBSI will not send Taufik to compete in the Korean Open or the 2000 Grand Prix Final as educative punishment for him," Subagyo told reporters on Wednesday at the Indonesian Badminton Center (PBI) in Cipayung, East Jakarta.

"The punishment is necessary because of his allegations which have tarnished the association's image. It can also be regarded as a warning to other shuttlers."

Taufik is the top seed in the Grand Prix Final in February and he was hoping to compete in the Korean Open in Seoul from Jan. 9 to Jan. 14.

The letter stating the decision was signed on Monday and handed out to Taufik on Wednesday morning.

"I can't give any comments now. I have to reflect on my actions. I want to review which of my comments are right and wrong. I will also overview which statements from PBSI officials are right and wrong. I'll explain next week," said Taufik.

After winning the Asian Badminton Championships early this month, Taufik called on Subagyo to step down from his post as chairman. He also criticized other inactive officials and the late payment of sponsorship contract money and tournament prize money to players.

Taufik coach, Mulyo Handoyo, declined to give comments, saying he wanted to avoid any further commotion.

"I have to talk to him more intensively about the punishment. But if it was up to me, I would ban him from hanging out late at nights because it will be much more difficult for him and it's more educative," he said.

"PBSI officials didn't ask my opinion before punishing Taufik."

Taufik was charged on PBSI Statutes Chapter II Article 5 which states that "a player can be punished if he was considered of disgracing PBSI or fails to follow the rules as stated in the Statutes or other regulations."

However, PBSI still allows Taufik to stay in the training center until Dec. 16 when all shuttlers and coaches are to be returned to their clubs of origin.

"We don't have any intention to terminate his career. In fact, I expect him to achieve good results in the All England event," said Subagyo. "On the other hand, PBSI officials must also be introspective about their weaknesses."

Still needed

Later on, PBSI secretary general Leo Chandra Wiranata said the association still needed Taufik in the national squad.

"If we also ban him in All England then who will we call? We don't have any other players to replace him," he said.

"But his statements have misled the public and tarnished PBSI's image. That's why we are punishing him by banning him from taking part in two international events."

Leo pointed to Taufik's statements on Subagyo's background as a retired four-star general and the way PBSI handles the shuttlers' financial rights of a contract with sports equipment manufacturer Yonex and the prize money from various events.

"We told him as well as other shuttlers that normally PBSI needs one or two months to settle all the paperwork before we can pay them in cash."

"At least, let's think positively. This case has awoken all coaches, officials and shuttlers to improve our performance."

At the same time, Subagyo also installed head coach and training director Christian Hadinata to become the training center director. His job does not only include training programs but also taking care of the daily problems of the center.

"The director will be responsible for all day-to-day matters in the center. He will be the superior of all coaches and shuttlers." he said. "This appointment is important to coordinate all the coaches and provide a clear communication channel."

Currently, there are 13 coaches in the training center but PBSI has planned to reshuffle the coaches and review their number. (nvn)