Badminton Life

Sugiarto Hopes for Top Post May be Blocked

Icuk Sugiarto is one of the legends of badminton. The Indonesian and former world number one was among the great names of the sport in the 80s, along with the likes of Morten Frost, Yang Yang and Zhao Jianhua.

As a former world champion, he was a leader among his peers during his playing days. Now, he wants to use his leadership skills to give back to the sport as he vies for the chairmanship of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI).

However, there are forces that are moving against Sugiarto's hopes of leading the body. He is currently still under sanction for an alleged 2006 offence when he was supposed to have made false accusations against board members during a meeting in Medan.

Because of those sanctions, he has played a passive role in his position of chairman of the Jakarta badminton chapter, according to media reports in Indonesia.

PBSI secretary general Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar was quoted as saying that such a situation may mean he is not eligible to run for the top post in the national governing body.

"Based on PBSI rules, anyone whose membership status is revoked is not allowed to run for the election," Siregar was quoted as saying in the Jakarta Post.

This could pave the way open for Djoko Santoso, an Army chief, to replace the current chairman Sutiyoso in November's national convention elections in Jakarta. However, no one is completely ruling out Sugiarto's chances.

Siregar said: "Twenty PBSI's chapters, including Jakarta, Central Java and West Java, have sent their letters of approval for Djoko to run in the next election. However, we have not yet received his response. We'll figure that out during next meeting.

"I'm not saying that Icuk is forbidden from running. It depends on the members of the convention on November 14 and 15. If the members agree to let Icuk go forward, then he may get his rights back for the election."

Indonesian badminton is now focusing on preparing players for the 2010 London Olympics after the country won a single gold at the recent Beijing Games in the men's doubles competition.

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