Indonesian NOC Sends Protest Letter to BWF

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 19 Maret 2021
Category: News
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Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali and Chief of Indonesian National Olympic Committee Raja Sapta Oktohari deliver press statements, in Jakarta, Friday (19/03). (Source: Ministry of Youth and Sports YouTube Channel)

The Indonesian National Olympic Committee (NOC) has sent a protest letter to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on the forced withdrawal of the Indonesian badminton team from the 2021 All England Open held in Birmingham, England.

The Indonesian team was also treated in a discriminatory and unprofessional manner, Chief of the Indonesian NOC Raja Sapta Oktohari said in a press statement with Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali, in Jakarta, Friday (19/03).

Every country, Okto said, has regulations on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Indonesia and the UK. For this reason, he said, event organizers in each country must adapt to health protocols established by local authorities.

“In this matter, we are giving a very firm statement to BWF not to throw its responsibility to the British Government. We have sent a letter to BWF and also to the British NOC,” Okto said.

The letter sent to the British NOC, he said, was a request for support.

“It is not the British Government holding the event but the All England organizing committee. This is very disappointing. BWF should take full responsibility for the negligence that took place in All England,” he said.

The Indonesian team, Okto added, had been injected with the COVID-19 vaccine and underwent PCR tests before departure and upon arrival in the UK. In fact, some Indonesian players have played in the badminton match.

However, several discriminatory, unprofessional, and unfair treatments were experienced by the Indonesian team. Okto said that apart from being forced to withdraw from the match, the Indonesian team was also not allowed to use the lift and take the bus by the organizers.

“We consider that what BWF is doing is very unprofessional. And we have communicated with the Badminton Association of Indonesia, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Asian Badminton Federation. We will also continue to pursue this incident to the highest level or even to international arbitration (CAS),” he said.

Okto also stated that the treatment received by the Indonesian badminton athletes had hurt the feelings of the Indonesian people, especially fans of the sports in which Badminton is one of Indonesia’s mainstay sports. For this reason, he requested that BWF apologize for this treatment.

“BWF must be responsible for the negligence they have done. They must apologize to the Indonesian people officially and there must also be accountability taken for what BWF is doing to our athletes who are still in quarantine in Birmingham, England,” he said.

Furthermore, the Indonesian NOC will also take preventive measures to ensure a similar incident does not happen in the future.

“We will also pass this on to our stakeholders, especially the OCA (Olympic Council Asia) and maybe even the IOC (International Olympic Committee) to ensure that such incident does not happen again,” Okto said.

Okto also expressed appreciation to the Government for the quick response to the incident. (FID/UN) (FI/MUR)

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