We (all stakeholders of 2023 AWBG) should meet (and talk) together.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) Chairperson Raja Sapta Oktohari has said he expects all stakeholders to maintain good communication regarding the preparations for the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games (AWBG) in Bali.

He made the remarks at a press conference here on Thursday in response to media reports stating that Bali Governor I Wayan Koster was against the participation of Israeli athletes in the AWBG event, which will take place from August 5–12, 2023.

"I regret that this situation continues to drag on and make a ruckus in the media. We (all stakeholders of 2023 AWBG) should meet (and talk) together. So far, (the government of) Bali has not conveyed any objection to us (KOI),” he said.

He further said that if the news regarding the governor’s objection is true, KOI will prepare a backup plan and immediately coordinate with the central government to determine the best solution.

The KOI chairperson informed that he has written to the Governor of Bali regarding the matter and informed the regional head that the qualifications for the AWBG would only be completed in June 2023.

“AWBG is the third-biggest multi-sporting event in the world after the Olympics. Since the beginning, we (KOI) have said that… this is the biggest multi-event to ever be hosted by Indonesia based on the number of participants,” he pointed out.

Athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) around the world will take part in the event, he informed.

Officials from ANOC, International Sports Federations (IFs), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and other sports organizations will also attend the event.

Furthermore, Oktohari emphasized his belief in the spirit of sports and Olympism, which stresses sportsmanship without discrimination and politicization.

He said he also believes that sports can help forge peace among nations.

“Sports are a means to unite (people), not divide (them). Do not associate sports with politics because we uphold political neutrality in sports, (and) there should be no discrimination in sports," he remarked.

The KOI chairperson also stressed that Indonesia has built a good reputation among the international community following its successful hosting of a number of international events.

“Indonesia already has a good image among the international community.Previously, (we have) successfully implemented the G20 Summit and presidency (in 2022), (then) Asian Games and Asian Para Games (in 2018),” he highlighted.

Indonesia is also nursing an ambition to hold the Olympics in 2036, he said.

“Do not let (the cancellation of) the U-20 World Cup earlier raise a domino effect for Indonesian sports, which will greatly harm (the advancement of) Indonesia in the future," he added.

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Translator: Arnidhya Zhafira, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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