Sat, 16 Dec 2000

PBVSI to launch pro league in 2001

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Volleyball Federation (PBVSI) will kick off a professional indoor volleyball league and beach volleyball circuit in the middle of 2001.

PBVSI chairwoman Rita Subowo said on Friday during a breaking of the fast gathering the professional indoor volleyball league would include eight men's teams and eight women's teams.

She said the league was aimed at providing players more games. Currently, PBVSI stages interprovince and interclub tournaments once a year.

The top sixteen clubs from the interclub tournament will compete in the league.

"The 2001 league will have regular matches starting in July or August and will last for six months. Each club can hire a maximum of two foreign players. The clubs can benefit from participating in the league because games will be aired live on TV."

Rita said clubs must pay a joining fee of Rp 500 million (US$54,000) to compete in the league.

"Insya Allah (God willing), we are optimistic many clubs will join the league. The purpose of making the joining fee high is to screen clubs and get the best ones in the league."

The PBVSI official in charge of competition, Hanny S. Surkatty, said the league would use the home-and-away system of competition. He said a number of clubs had showed interest in the idea of a professional league.

"The league will use International Volleyball Federation rule. Clubs can have players from Asia or South America. We'll also employ local referees who have international certificates.

"In the future, we hope to establish a national team from the players competing in the league," he said.

Hanny also said clubs would be allowed to find their own sponsors, because "clubs must pay the salaries of the players".

He also said both PBVSI and the clubs could profit from the league. "The clubs will benefit from the ticket sales and by attracting sponsors, as the league games will be aired on TV. PBVSI itself will profit from the TV rights and sponsorships."

Hanny said PBVSi would announce the details of the league in January.

Despite the optimism of PBVSI officials, Bank BNI club coach Teuku Djohan was wary of the idea.

"I'm not too optimistic about the idea. A club will have problems raising the Rp 500 million joining fee. If a company that sponsors a volleyball team is to consider competing in the league, it must first know what benefits it can get from the league in return for paying so much money. I hope the league will not be too ambitious a project.

"If a club can hire foreign players, where will it find players who want to play in Indonesian? The skills of our volleyball players are far below their counterparts in Southeast Asia. I think there will be a wide gap between local and foreign players." (ivy)