It shows that sport is a means for uniting (people) as well as a tool for diplomacy.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Preparations for the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) World Beach Games (AWBG) in Bali are still on despite the current dynamics in the region, Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) chairperson Raja Sapta Oktohari has said.

“I thank everyone involved in the preparation of the AWBG. In the midst of the happening dynamics, they continue to strive to ensure that this event can be held successfully," he remarked at a press conference here on Thursday.

Earlier, media reports stated that Bali Governor I Wayan Koster was against the participation of Israeli athletes at the AWBG, which will take place from August 5–12, 2023.

The KOI chairperson said that he has been communicating with all stakeholders, including the international federations of the 14 sports contested at the games as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the ANOC as the organizers of the AWBG.

“Our communication with ANOC is running quite well. We are intensively communicating with ANOC," he informed.

He said that currently, all parties are jointly looking for the best solution to address the current dynamics, especially ANOC, which is seeking ways to ensure that the event still can be implemented.

“It is not a matter of winning or losing. Everyone should wholeheartedly see what is best for Indonesia and for Indonesian sports," he remarked.

In addition, Oktohari said that a lot of support has come from other quarters, such as Qatar, which served as the first host of the Games.

"… Qatar even provided full support after hearing about the current situation (in Indonesia) because they wanted to ensure that the event could go well," he added.

Qatar’s support shows that sports have become the language of unity, both in Indonesia and the international community, he said.

The KOI chairperson further said he expected that with all the preparations and communication, Indonesia will continue to implement the 2023 AWBG and get the hosting rights for other sporting events in the future.

"It shows that sport is a means for uniting (people) as well as a tool for diplomacy," he added.

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Translator: Arnidhya Zhafira, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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