Sat, 11 Nov 2000

PBSI not to expel Taufik, says executive director

JAKARTA (JP): The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) executive director, Karsono, gave his word on Friday that the association would not expel its men's singles player Taufik Hidayat from the Indonesian Badminton Center after the young shuttler's controversial statement last week.

Karsono, who also chairs the clarification team for Taufik's statement, told reporters that the association preferred to solve the problem in a harmonious way.

"PBSI will not expel Taufik as he is an asset of the country and the association. We just regret the miscommunication between the PBSI officials and the players. Taufik has never complained of anything personally to us," he told a press conference after a closed meeting with the team members.

The team will call Taufik, who is currently competing in the invitational Ipoh Masters in Malaysia, on Wednesday at 1.00 p.m.

"The meeting is to clarify if Taufik really made those statements. We also want to know his reasons for saying them to the press instead of us."

After his victory at the Asian Badminton Championships Sunday, Taufik urged PBSI chairman Subagyo Hadisiwoyo to step down. He also expressed his disappointment to other officials due to the late receipt of sponsorship contract money from Yonex and of the tournaments' prize money.

Taufik accused PBSI officials of not fully committing to their jobs as they failed to constrain discipline among athletes at the center's dormitory.

He also said the officials were too afraid to warn top athletes even though they made mistakes or broke the dormitory rules, including staying out late.

Responding to Taufik's statement, Karsono said that even without calls from the players, Subagyo would definitely step down from his post at next year's national congress.

"Pak Subagyo even wants to move the congress forward as he wants to finish his tenure soon. But he must wait for another year as the congress will take place in December."

Karsono added that officials had worked hard to put discipline into the athletes' daily lives.

"Starting from Jan. 20, 2001 -- after the national championships and the annual congress in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan -- none of the athletes, coaches and officials can act carelessly. We will introduce harder discipline than exists these days," he said.

Karsono also said that Subagyo did not react after reading Taufik's statements on the newspapers.

"But as an executive director of PBSI, I felt insulted by his statements as it's not the first time (they have been made). We have kept silent for so long. This time we have to take action." (yan)