Sun, Apr 05, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Indonesia resolves Olympic logo row, hopes to avoid ban

NEW AND IMPROVED:KONI chair Tono Suratman said that the committee decided to drop the logo and work on a version with more or fewer rings

Reuters, JAKARTA

Indonesia is set to retain the hosting rights of the 2018 Asian Games and avoid an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban after resolving a row over the use of the Olympic rings logo.

The IOC had allowed only the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) to use the iconic logo featuring five different-colored, interlaced rings. Later, the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI) also adopted it without permission.

KONI, which heads the sporting associations in Indonesia, initially refused to back down after the IOC warned the Indonesian government of heavy penalties if the disagreement was not resolved.

Meetings between KONI and KOI — which was once part of KONI, but separated to oversee Indonesia’s participation at major sporting events like the Olympics — failed to resolve the issue, but KONI said their members had opted to relent this week.

NEW LOGO

“Our members have recommended [dropping the rings] and we’ve picked a few candidates to help design the new logo,” KONI chairman Tono Suratman was quoted as saying in the Jakarta Globe yesterday.

“It could be three rings or six rings, as long as it’s not the IOC logo. The colors can be different, but the shape stays the same, or the other way around,” Suratman said.

“The most important thing is we’re still committed to helping boost the country’s sports development,” he said.

FUNDING

The Jakarta Globe said the government had threatened to withdraw funding for KONI if it did not drop the logo.

A spokesman for the government said IOC president Thomas Bach would be informed of the decision and it hoped Indonesia would escape sanction.

“We appreciate and thank the KONI for finally deciding to change its logo after this long debate,” the spokesman told the Jakarta Globe.

Jakarta was only named host of the Asian Games last year after Vietnam pulled out of staging the event in Hanoi citing the financial burden.

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