Tue, 18 Apr 2000

Subagyo denies young shuttlers boycott PBSI

JAKARTA (JP): The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) loses its self-esteem? It sounds impossible but it happened Monday. Twenty eight young athletes boycotted the official four- day selection trial for promotion and expulsion.

Only two shuttlers, men's singles Ronny Agustinus and Johan Hadikusuma, showed up at the three courts prepared for the event, which was scheduled to start at 01.00 p.m. The referees waited until 4.30 p.m. before declaring the shuttlers as winners.

Ronny told reporters that he had no idea of the plan to boycott the selection.

"I heard that there was a meeting on Saturday, which I skipped after training, and I knew nothing of a petition to boycott the selection," he said. "I also had no idea of their motivation. I came here because my coach told me to."

Other shuttlers including junior Arief Rosidi and Doni Prasetyo were tight-lipped with reporters. They just stayed in their room while others left the dormitory in the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, East Jakarta.

After chairing the meeting with the Thomas and Uber Cups and Olympic teams, PBSI chairman, Subagyo Hadisiswoyo, said that it was not a boycott.

"The shuttlers did not understand clearly the explanation given by the official in charge of athletes development, Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar. There are three groups to attend the selection. A 19-member team, consisting of new players, will have its own selection to decide on their ranking."

"Another 19-member team, comprising older shuttlers with poor international achievements, will have their selection to determine the shuttlers among them with the most potential. The selected ones will stay here."

"While the expelled ones will be replaced by winners of the 1999 junior circuits."

But a reliable source in the center said that the shuttlers were dissatisfied with the system. The juniors were promised to have one year of training and a one-year competition period.

Siregar said: "If the juniors have poor form in local circuits, what can we do for them? We gave them two years time but it's a part of the evaluation process."

Subagyo said if the juniors team declined to join the selection Tuesday to Thursday, PBSI would not hesitate to dismiss them from the center.

He also said that the selection must be done because four PBSI chapters have yet to be prepared to stage decentralized training programs as planned earlier.

"Due to limited facilities and funds in our chapters, we decided not to delay the decentralized training plan and change it with the selection."

Speaking on PBSI's action to the International Badminton Federation (IBF) letter asking Indonesia to field Mia Audina, world ranked 11, in the Olympics, Subagyo said Mia had moved to the Netherlands and plays for her new country.

"I allowed her to follow her husband to the Netherlands and play for the new country. It's her business with the Badminton Association of the Netherlands. It has nothing to do with us anymore."

The IBF's letter asked Indonesia to include Mia on the national team if the International Olympic Committee turned down the request of the Netherlands to allow her to represent them country in the Olympics.

"She has not sent us a personal letter asking us to include her in our team," Subagyo said.

PBSI secretary general, Leo Chandra Wiranata, said the IBF and IOC rules state that a player could perform for his or her new country after staying in that country for two and three years respectively. (yan)