Indonesia braces for hectic year in sports after COVID-19
The country’s sports stakeholders now have to begin to think carefully about managing their time and budget to succeed in next year’s events.The NOC said the preparation for next year’s busy schedule was the priority now, although they refused to share any details, with Okto saying it was too early to talk about costs, given the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.“It is still difficult to arrange plans [for 2021] as our country is only at the beginning of this [COVID-19] pandemic. We still don’t know when this is exactly going to end,” he said.The Youth and Sports ministry is leaning toward prioritizing the participation of Indonesians in international sporting events, hinting that pushing back local sporting competitions to another year is the most reasonable option should the overall schedule be too full.“If it is too hectic, we can postpone the Popnas and Peparpenas to 2022, and this is fully the ministry’s authority,” ministry’s spokesperson Gatot S. Dewa Broto said.According to Gatot, the ministry would create levels of priority and carefully weigh funding allocations before sending national athletes to compete in the events next year.“We have yet to allocate funds for the Olympics in 2021. But the Olympics and the Paralympics are two events that are nonexpendable,” he said. “As for other events, the Islamic Solidarity [Games], for instance, there is a possibility that we will will decrease the number of athletes going to the events for budget efficiency.”Read also: Tokyo Games postponement blessing in disguise for Indonesian sportsThe ministry is now considering allowing national sports federations to revise their proposed budget allocations for the Olympic Games they had submitted long before the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.A number of federations, including the Indonesian Weightlifting, Powerlifting and Bodybuilders Association (PABBSI) and the Indonesian Shooting Association (Perbakin), have been considering shifting some of the funds allocated for their canceled tryouts and overseas training camps toward keeping the Olympics training program afloat for the remainder of the year.The ministry will conduct a meeting with sport federations regarding the continuation of their training programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Read also: Olympics postponement gives Indonesian sports stakeholders breathing spaceThe NOC Indonesia, meanwhile, is currently waiting for information from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the fate of the Tokyo Olympics qualifying tournaments following the Games’ postponement. Some international federations in charge of organizing Olympic qualifying events have held tournaments since 2018.On Monday, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced that the Olympic Games would run from July 23 to Aug. 8 next year and the Paralympic Games from Aug. 24 to Sep. 5.The delay announced last week is a first in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics. The postponement represents a huge blow for Japan, which invested US$13 billion in the run-up to the event and raised $3 billion from domestic sponsors, Reuters reports.Topics : “We are aware that, with the postponement of the Olympics, the sports schedule for 2021 is filling up,” Indonesia’s National Olympic Committee (NOC) chief Raja Sapta “Okto” Oktohari said on Monday. “This means that we have to coordinate intensively with the government, especially the Youth and Sports Ministry, regarding the budget [allocations].”Several international competitions to be held in the country will add to the busy schedule of the national sporting world next year. Indonesia is set to host the 2021 Indonesian MotoGP in Mandalika, West Nusa Tenggara, and FIFA’s Under-20 World Cup, which is set to kick off in the middle of next year.Not to mention local events like the National Students’ Games Week (Popnas) and the National Paralympics Students Games Week (Peparpenas). With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics pushed back to 2021, Indonesia braces for one of its busiest years for sports, eyeing to take part in at least seven international multisport events next year.The five others are the Asian Winter Games, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the Asian Youth Games, the Islamic Solidarity Games and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games — most of which have already announced fixed dates.