Govt to consider advice to stop financing football clubs

"If the KPK has indeed made the recommendation in writing, then we will study it. We are the state so we cannot just stop the financial aid abruptly but will consider the KPK`s advice," Minister Martowardoyo said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said here on Tuesday the government would consider the advice of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to stop the use of state budget funds to finance professional football clubs in the regions.

"If the KPK has indeed made the recommendation in writing, then we will study it. We are the state so we cannot just stop the financial aid abruptly but will consider the KPK`s advice," Minister Martowardoyo said.

He added his ministry had not received any official letter from the KPK on the request to stop disbursement of regional state budget funds for financing professional football in the regions.

Martowardoyo said that Ministry of Finance has been allocating budgets related to sports development through the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI) as the holding organization for all branches of sports.

KONI subsequently will channel the funds downwards to the respective sports organizations. Therefore, the government will talk first with KONI on the matter, the finance minister said.

The KPK has previously advised the government to halt the use of state budgets at the regional levels for financing professional football organizations under the All-Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) starting 2012.

"Based on a result of KPK study, we advise the Home Affairs Minister to stop the use of regional budgets for professional football clubs," said KPK deputy chairman M. Jasin to the press last week.

Jasin added that the advice on halting the use of regional budgets based on the indications that there had been breaching of the regulation on the utilization of the funds allocated to professional football clubs.

In addition, there have also been findings on conflict of interests on the use of the regional budgets for financing professional football clubs as there are many head of the regions having double positions as also the chiefs of football clubs.(*)

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