KONI, KOI in Talks to Avoid IOC Sanctions

FEBRUARY 17, 2015

Jakarta. Amid a threat of Indonesia being suspended from all international sports activities by the International Olympic Committee due to a copyright violation, the country’s national sports organizations decided to set their egos aside in order to resolve the issue.

The Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) and the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI) held a meeting with top Sports Ministry officials on Monday where  they agreed to work on a win-win solution, although the Olympic rings in KONI’s logo are unlikely to be dropped.

“We facilitated the meeting as we heard that KONI and KOI had talks, but we haven’t reached an official agreement. We just discussed the issue to try and find a good solution,” senior ministry official Gatot S. Dewobroto said.

“We offered them an opportunity to make a deal and report it to the minister. So when we reply to the IOC’s letter, they can both give their acknowledgement of the deal. However,  KONI and KOI refused the offer and instead gave us a mandate to solve the problem, as long as we consult with them.”

Indonesia currently stands to lose its right to host the 2018 Asian Games because KONI violates copyrights by including the Olympic rings in its logo.

In a letter to the Indonesian government dated Jan. 27, the IOC warned that KONI’s illegal use of the Olympic rings in its logo could cost Indonesia the right to host the Asian Games.

The IOC says the logo may only be used by a national member of the international sporting body, which in Indonesia’s case is KOI. In the meeting, all parties agreed on the need to find a solution, but there are no  plans to drop the rings from KONI’s logo.

Instead, the national sporting bodies tried to find loopholes in the Olympic Charter that may allow KONI to continue using the Olympic rings in its logo.

“We have found some points in the Olympic Charter that we could possibly use as a solution, such as rules number three and seven. I will study the Olympic Charter thoroughly first,” Gatot said.

“We need to be honest. Right now, we try to find a solution that has a less negative impact and focus on the positive side. And we’re confident we could reach it as both parties have the same goal, which is to avoid sanctions from the IOC.”

Rule number seven regulates sporting bodies’ rights over the Olympic Games and use of Olympic property, while rule number three deals with recognition by the IOC.

According to rule number 3.5, the IOC may recognize nongovernmental national bodies that are connected with sport and which  are operating on an international level, as long as their statutes and activities conform with the Olympic Charter.

“In the meeting, we discovered that the Olympic Charter provides opportunity for nongovernmental organizations to become members of the IOC. And we hope we could retain the rings in our logo,” KONI chairman Tono Suratman said.

“So, for now we will retain the Olympic rings in our logo as we are not ready to talk about dropping the rings.”