Tue, 21 Nov 2000

PBSI delays closure of training center

JAKARTA (JP): Due to calls from the national shuttlers, the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) agreed on Monday to delay the closure of the national centralized training center.

PBSI had intended to close the training center on Monday but agreed to delay the move until Dec. 16 to enable the players to prepare for the National Interclub Championships in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan from Jan. 9 to Jan. 14.

"The decision to send home the shuttlers was to enable them to represent their clubs in the tournament. It also allows shuttlers to make travel arrangements to their hometowns during the holiday season this year," PBSI chairman Subagyo Hadisiswoyo told reporters at the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, East Jakarta.

"PBSI is sending back 56 shuttlers to their clubs. The association is very grateful for their dedication and achievement."

Subagyo was accompanied by secretary-general Leo Chandra Wiranata, official in charge of athletes development Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar and acting chairman of Patron Board Suhendarto.

"The shuttlers argued that they will not have capable practice partners if they return to their clubs. Besides, the facilities here are better," he said.

PBSI will start its centralized training program in January after the championships. Shuttlers will be informed by letter of their readmission to the center. Subagyo indicated that the number of shuttlers will be halved from the current 56.

"We'll call them back after the championships. There will be an evaluation to determine which players will be admitted. It will be based on their international achievement, attitude and potential. We'll study the matter carefully," Subagyo said.

"Those who don't have the right attitude, such as those who are indisciplined will be excluded although they have performed well."

The meeting also discussed other issues including disciplinary regulations and contract arrangements between PBSI and the shuttlers. Most shuttlers said they expected a more transparent and direct arrangement with sponsors.

Men's doubles specialist Candra Wijaya said shuttlers were demanding a better and more transparent agreement.

"We are requesting that we be allowed to sign our individual contracts directly with the sponsors instead of with PBSI. Of course, we will still give our share to PBSI as we don't want to leave PBSI just like that," he told reporters.

Candra also urged PBSI to review the cuts in the players' fees and asked the association to help players find cosponsors.

Players' contract fees have been cut by 50 percent to help PBSI finance athletes development programs.

Speaking of his dispute with men's singles shuttler Taufik Hidayat, Subagyo said PBSI would decide on the disciplinary action to be taken against the 19-year-old player this week.

"The sanctions are not only for Taufik but also for other shuttlers who have violated the regulations," he said.

Taufik is known to patronize night entertainment centers. He told reporters that he would obey all decisions made by PBSI as long as it was fair.

"I'll accept the decision if PBSI suspends me for three months for my mistakes. But if the suspension is too long, let's say six months, I'll appeal the decision," he said.

"So far I haven't thought about playing for other countries. My priority is still Indonesia. But if I were cornered and there was nowhere to go, I'll leave." (nvn)