Jakarta (ANTARA) - Several international sporting events, especially badminton, have been held in Indonesia, with some implemented in the recent years being quite interesting, such as the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games.

Although it was the second edition of the continental multi-sport event in Indonesia, with the first being held in 1962 in Jakarta, the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games became a milestone for Indonesia to grab the attention of global sporting event organizers.

In fact, the implementation of both events showed the increasing importance of Indonesia in the global political and economic forum.

The 1962 Jakarta Asian Games was held when Indonesia had just emerged as a new world power that encouraged several global initiations.

During the era, the Cold War had divided the world into two blocks of power -- the West Block led by the United States and the East Block led by the Soviet Union.

Through the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia steadily became one of the key players in the global political order. Along with four other countries, Indonesia initiated the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961 that aimed to avoid a polarized world.

Meanwhile, the 2018 Asian Games was a form of global recognition for Indonesia’s progress in the economic sector that had made the country increasingly important in the global political and economic stage as a G20 member.

Founded in 1999 in response to several global economic crises, G20 was initially only a consultation forum for finance ministers and central bank governors of the 20 countries.

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However, since 2008, the significance of the forum has increased, even surpassing the influence of G7 or G8.

As part of being the G20 member, there are many factors that convince the international community that Indonesia is capable of hosting global sporting events necessitating international standard infrastructure, financial capabilities, sports professionalism, and national stability to guarantee the security of all participants.

Getting busy

The 2018 Asian Games has proved to the world that Indonesia is a suitable location to hold various major and prestigious sporting events and not just badminton or other sports that have been popular among Indonesian people.

In fact, after hosting the event, Indonesia was engrossed in holding several regional and global tournaments in adherence to strict protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, Indonesia is scheduled to host the 2022 Formula E Grand Prix that proves that motorsports can be part of the race to address current international issues pertaining to the environment and global warming.

In addition, the race shows a shift in the automotive industry that has been highly dependent on fossil energy although it contributes significantly to global warming.

As a result, the Earth is becoming increasingly unlivable since disasters are getting more severe and frequent, while the weather is quickly changing that immiserates people and triggers social conflicts.

In addition, another event to be hosted by Indonesia is the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Earlier scheduled to be held in 2021, FIFA cancelled it due to the pandemic. Instead, the organization awarded the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup hosting right to Indonesia.

The fact that the governing body for the most popular and widely watched sport in the world still prefers Indonesia to host the next edition of the U-20 World Cup reflects its high trust in Indonesia.

It is the first time in the history of FIFA -- established 117 years ago -- that Indonesia is trusted to host one of its tournaments.

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We can

On November 19-21, 2021, Indonesia had held the 2021 World Superbike (WSBK) at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, in which Turkish racer Toprak Razgatlioglu emerged as the winner.

The circuit has been designated to host the 2022 MotoGP, which is one of the most popular global sporting events. In 2019, around 400 million viewers worldwide watched the event.

The race is quite popular among today's digitally-savvy youth, as the engagement of the generation with the MotoGP social media continues to grow -- even surpassing that of another popular race event, Formula 1.

As of December 12, 2021, MotoGP’s followers on Instagram reached 11.9 million, 2.9 million on Twitter, 17 million on Facebook, and 4.57 million on YouTube.

Meanwhile, the audience of the event on various platforms reaches more than one billion globally.

Dorna Sports, which holds the commercial rights of MotoGP, made the race more interesting to watch by installing 360-degree cameras along the track and on motorcycles that drew several broadcasters around the world to relay the event.

Thus, considering its business aspect, MotoGP is more appealing than Formula 1 to the point that the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia dropped the car race to host the motorcycle event.

Moreover, audience numbers for Formula 1 continue to decrease, while the audience for MotoGP is growing bigger.

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In addition, there are numerous sponsorships supporting the event as well as global brands used by the athletes.

Hence, MotoGP fans, riders, and venue are able to create a potentially large economic market. The huge potential can also be found in several other sports, including badminton.

Organizing a big sporting event nowadays is not only about the sport itself but also pertains to optimizing the event’s benefits for other sectors, such as business, tourism, and culture, as well as promoting national political and economic stability.

Sporting events also encourage a healthy lifestyle among members of the community that can be the beginning for Indonesia to improve its achievements in sports, as it will be easy to find superior talents or potential athletes if the people paid more attention to their own fitness.

Hence, it is only a matter of time for Indonesia to finally be able to host the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.

Nothing is impossible. Highlighting the slogan of the XX Papua National Sports Week (PON), now comes the time we proudly proclaim to the world: ‘Torang bisa! Indonesia bisa!’ (We can! Indonesia can do it!).

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Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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