Good news for football in Indonesia at OCA CC meeting 11/05/2016

OCA Coordination Committee Chairman Tsunekazu Takeda and INASGOC Chairman Erick Thohir meet the media in Bali on Wednesday after the 4th OCA CC meeting for the 18th Asian Games.

Bali, Indonesia, May 11, 2016: The Olympic Council of Asia returned to Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday for the 4th OCA Coordination Committee meeting for the 18th Asian Games Jakarta-Palembang 2018. The tropical paradise of Bali played host to the OCA’s inaugural Asian Beach Games in 2008, laying the foundations for one of the most successful and popular multi-sport events on the OCA portfolio.

"In 2008 you organised the first Asian Beach Games in Bali and it was a great success," said the OCA Coordination Committee Chairman, Mr Tsunekazu Takeda, in his opening address at the New Kuta Hotel. "We are very happy to come back here again to the beautiful island of Bali. Thank you for your excellent preparations for the meeting and for your wonderful hospitality.

The 18th Asian Games in 2018 will be a showcase for the OCA to the world as a leader of the sports movement and also of your country." The Chairman of organising committee INASGOC and President of the Indonesian Olympic Committee, Mr Erick Thohir, began the meeting with the welcome news that the Indonesian government had lifted the sanctions on the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) the previous day.

The sanctions were imposed in April 2015 because the government felt the PSSI had ignored warning letters from the Ministry of Youth and Sports over the operations and statutes of certain clubs. "The government of Indonesia removed the sanctions last night and I called FIFA," said Mr Thohir.

"FIFA will make a decision on Friday, so that will no longer be an issue for the Asian Games." The organisers of the 18th Asian Games gave progress reports on various matters, including the revised Master Plan, sports programme, competition venues, Athletes’ Village, medical and anti-doping, IT, media and promotions.

With Palembang, capital of South Sumatra, co-hosting the 18th Asian Games, the meeting agreed to switch bowling from a Jakarta venue affected by flooding to the new International Bowling Centre at Palembang.

The final sports programme will be confirmed after the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, as some sports, specifically baseball-softball, are expected to move from non-Olympic Games status to Olympic sports in time for Tokyo 2020.

This will affect the number of sports in the Asian Games, as there are categories for Olympic sports and non-Olympic sports, and local organisers will be allowed to add one, possibly two, non-Olympic sports to the programme, depending on the IOC Session.

The OCA also clarified that baseball/softball and all the aquatic disciplines would be in Jakarta, in the refurbished aquatic centre in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) sports complex, while the hockey venue in GBK will have to be upgraded to a world-class venue as the 2018 Asian Games will be a qualifying event for Tokyo 2020 with over 20 teams taking part.

Updates were also provided on the new indoor velodrome being constructed on the site of the old outdoor venue in Jakarta, as well as plans to upgrade the 34-hectare equestrian centre. Regarding legacy, the indoor velodrome will be used for a wide variety of sports after the Asian Games, such as badminton, table tennis, kick boxing, volleyball and basketball, while the wooden cycling track will remain in a bid to boost the sport in Indonesia.

Bali was chosen to host this 4th OCA CC meeting as the capital, Denpasar, will be one of six cities to establish an Asian Games Park to promote the event throughout the vast country.Jakarta will also host the OCA’s 3rd Asian Youth Games in November 2017 for athletes under 16 years as a test event for the 18th Asian Games.

The proposed dates are November 12-20, 2017, with around nine sports including athletics, badminton, 3x3 basketball, cycling, football, taekwondo, karate and pencak silat. The OCA must confirm all aspects of the 3rd AYG before the programme is finalised. Summing up the meeting, Mr Takeda said he could feel the "passion and eagerness" of organising committee INASGOC to host a successful Asian Games in 2018.

"Thank you very much for the great effort for this 4th CC meeting and it has progressed very much," he said. "There is not much time left for the Asian Youth Games in 2017 and Asian Games in 2018, so we have to rush and work more together with you." The 18th Asian Games will run from August 18 to September 2, 2018, and involve 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions.