Badminton: New PBSI Regime Ready to Get Down to Business
With internal disputes finally settled, it appears likely that new leadership of the Indonesia Badminton Association can now get on with the job of turning around the country’s recent woes in the sport.
Gita Wirjawan, the new-elected president of the association known as the PBSI, will be inaugurated on Friday and soon face a pile of homework.
“We have yet to a discuss a contract extension with our main sponsor, Yonex, and with other sponsors,” PBSI spokesman Ricky Subagja said on Tuesday. “We have to wait for the inauguration before we can officially work.”
Gita, the country’s trade minister, was elected as the new PBSI president in September at a general meeting but was forced to wait to assume his new role. Election rival Icuk Sugiarto believed he had been cheated and brought the case to the Indonesia Sports Arbitration Body (Baori).
Icuk, one of Indonesia’s greatest badminton players, said there were irregularities in the election process because Gita was chosen before the candidates had a chance to make a statement. The chairman of the general meeting declared that Gita was elected despite objections from some members.
Baori suggested that the PBSI postpone the inauguration, but the arbitration body last week rejected Icuk’s claim.
The postponement meant the PBSI could not send shuttlers to international events.
“We already registered our shuttlers to international events, though we made entry-by-number registrations,” said Christian Hadinata, head of the national training camp. “We have to wait until the inauguration to register their names. The postponement also affected the budget approval.”
While new leadership is scheduled to be inaugurated on Friday, head of development Rexy Mainaky has yet to show up at the Cipayung training camp.
Ricky said that Rexy was expected to come to Jakarta as soon as possible to present his program to Gita.
“All departments were asked to present their plan and we put our focus on the athletes’ development,” said Ricky, who partnered with Rexy to win a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games. “Rexy has responsibility to design a development program.”
Gita asked Rexy to join his leadership team. Rexy agreed to return to Cipayung and ended his contract with the Philippines Badminton Federation.