Olympics: Indonesia Promises Cash-Starved Athletes $2.9m by the Weekend

By webadmin on 08:36 pm Apr 30, 2012
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Ami Afriatni

After months of waiting, Indonesia’s Olympic team has received word that the government will release its budget from the Finance Ministry this week.

“The Olympic team will get its money this weekend,” Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng said on Monday. “Right now, the budget is still in the liquidating process.”

Andi said the Olympic and Paralympic teams would receive Rp 26.58 billion ($2.9 million). That includes money for athletes’ training, room and board in London and their medal bonuses.

Indonesian athletes were promised Rp 2.5 billion for an Olympic gold medal. Bonuses for silver or bronze medals have not been announced, but the government awarded Rp 750 million and Rp 300 million for medals at the Beijing Games in 2008.

The Olympics take place July 27 to Aug. 12 with the Paralympics running from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9, also in London.

The Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) initially asked for Rp 26 billion for the Olympic and Paralympic teams but has yet to receive any funding.

Olympic team chef de mission Erick Thohir said the team’s preparations would be in jeopardy if they didn’t get the money by early May.

Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Yuli Mumpuni confirmed that the budget had been agreed upon and rubber-stamped.

“There are still some documents that need to be examined by the KPPN [the State Budgetary Service Office], but the money will be transferred to KOI’s account by this weekend,” she said.

Yuli said the cash should have been dispersed in March, but the government, blaming fluctuating oil prices, ordered every ministry to revise their budget proposals.

The Asian Beach Games team, which will compete from June 16-23 in Haiyang, China, will receive Rp 10 billion.

Elsewhere, Indonesia secured another Olympic berth in women’s weightlifting after it took third at the Asian Weightlifting Championship in Pyongtaek, South Korea, on Sunday. The Indonesian Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Bodybuilding Association (Pabbsi) will determine who gets the spot. Siti Nafisah (48-kilogram division), Citra Febriyanti (53 kg), Okta Dwi Pramita (58 kg) and Sinta Darmariani (69 kg) are in contention.

That gives Indonesia eight Olympians, including men’s weightlifters Jadi Setiadi (56 kg), Eko Yuli Irawan (62 kg), Triyatno (69 kg), Sumaryanto (56 kg) and M. Hasbi (62 kg), women’s archer Ika Yuliana Rochmawati and women’s fencer Diah Permatasari.