OCA happy with RI’s work ahead of 2018 event

Source  :  The Jakarta Post —–

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has expressed its appreciation for the work conducted by Indonesia ahead of hosting the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Palembang, South Sumatra and West Java.

“We appreciate the fruitful discussions and are also happy to see that everything has been done accordingly,” Tsunekazu Takeda, deputy chairman of the OCA, told a press conference held after the Asian Games Coordinating Committee Meeting in Bali on Wednesday.

Takeda also acknowledged that stronger cooperation between the organizing committee and the government had been a key point during the preparations.

Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) chief Erick Thohir said the organizers had gone all out in their preparations. Erick was relieved to say that the hard work had been noticed by the OCA.

“We have witnessed serious improvements from last year. It means business for us,” he said.

Erick, owner of the Italian soccer club Inter Milan, said he lauded the government’s recent decision to lift its suspension of the Indonesian Soccer Association (PSSI).

The revocation of the PSSI suspension means that soccer has a future in the 2018 games.

“This is good news for us because it is an undeniable fact that soccer is still the most popular sport on earth,” he said.

However, a much-needed revision of a presidential decree that oversees the arrangements for the Asian Games was not ready for the meeting.

The revised decree would assist the organizers, mainly on budgeting, with their ongoing work.

Commenting on this, Youth and Sports Ministry spokesman Gatot S. Dewobroto said the revision of Presidential Decree No. 12/2015 on the Asian Games was on its way.

“We will have [the revised decree] shortly,” he said, stressing that he had participated in a series of meetings on the revision last week.

Gatot went on to say the decree would also regulate the Asian Youth Games, a preliminary event that is tailored to test the venues before the 2018 Games. The arrangements on the Asian Youth Games were not mentioned in the first version of the decree.

Wednesday’s meeting also failed to determine additional sports to be contested in the tournament. But Erick said the determination of the additional sports could be addressed in the next meeting in September.

Indonesia remains consistent in wanting three sports — paragliding and jet-skiing, which are categorized as mechanical sports, and bridge — added to the Asian Games’ list, said Erick.

On venues, the organizers have decided that 10 out of 37 sports will be staged in Palembang. The remaining 27 will be held in Jakarta, said Harry Warganegara Harun, KOI sports development commission chief.

Women’s soccer, basketball and bowling are among the sports to be played in Palembang.

The organizers have decided to build facilities for aquatic sports — swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming and diving — in Jakarta and Palembang.

The government is working on two aquatic facilities in the Bung Karno Sporting Complex in Jakarta and Jakabaring Sporting Complex in Palembang.

Gatot said that in order for the government to be able to move faster in building the facilities, a revision of Presidential Instruction No. 2/2016 regarding the division of work among ministries was also underway. The revision would provide enough space for every ministry to do their jobs, he said.

The Asian Youth Games will be held on Nov. 12-20, 2017. Nine sports — track and field, badminton, men’s three-on-three basketball, men’s team soccer, tae kwon do, karate, pencak silat and wushu — will be contested in the youth games.

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