Indonesia: We're on track for 2018 Asian Games, Latest Athletics News - The New Paper

Indonesia: We're on track for 2018 Asian Games

Organisers of Indonesia's 2018 Asian Games insisted yesterday that preparations were on track after the build-up was hit by corruption allegations and concerns about faltering organisation.

With 18 months to go until the start of the world's biggest multi-sport event after the Olympics, the flurry of early problems has sparked worries in a country with a chequered history of hosting international tournaments.

When Indonesia hosted the SEA Games in 2011, the event was marked by a major corruption scandal, delays in getting venues and infrastructure ready and a deadly stampede at the football final.

The latest graft case centres on allegations that two senior officials from the Indonesian Olympic Committee (KOI) and a man outside the organisation embezzled about US$700,000 (S$987,000) from a fund aimed at promoting the Games.

This week, police questioned several KOI officials and plan to quiz Erick Thohir, who is head of the committee as well as president of Italian Serie A team Inter Milan, as a witness in the case.

"Everything is still being handled well, it's business as usual," said KOI spokesman Raja Pane, insisting preparations were not affected by the allegations.

He said the officials under investigation - secretary-general Dody Iswandi and treasurer Anjas Rivai - had been suspended after being named suspects in the case late last year, but would be fired only if convicted.