Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi:
Professional sports should not be funded by the government
HOME Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi seems to be very much in line with the supporters of clean and professional football. He will issue new regulations which will prohibit the use of funds from the Regional State Budget for professional football clubs starting in 2012
The regulations will be solid, no longer fuzzy as in the past. Ministerial Decree 2007 which bans the use of Regional Budgets for professional football clubs contains many loopholes, so that it is not difficult for funds to come from the Regional Budgets. Even the Home Affairs Ministerial Circular No. 426/2010 weakened the previous regulations, by allowing professional clubs to rely on state budget funds. The regulation has been rendered even more ineffective by the rampant corruption with these clubs.
Hence Gamawan’s emphasis, that “the Regional Budget can be used for talent search,” said the former governor of West Sumatra. “But the moment they turn professional, the clubs must be removed from state budgets.”
Tempo reporters Tito Sianipar, Sorta Tobing and photographer Jacky Rahmansyah interviewed Gamawan in his office in Central Jakarta last Monday. Excerpts:
What is the government’s policy on the use of state money for football clubs?
Funds from the Regional Budget (APBD) can be used by all development sectors, not just football. The state funds for sports which we had authority over will be submitted to the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI), which distributes the funds according to the club’s budget and planning. Sometimes from KONI there might be funds for professional clubs. In the future, we don’t want those funds to go to professional sports. I have restructured the scale of priorities, so we can know whether the Rp15 billion for a football club is for the homeless or starving people.
Why can’t the ban on state budgets giving funds to football clubs begin in 2011?
The 2011 Regional Budget has been approved. Anyway, there will be a transition phase, time to think and adjust. The professional clubs can look for sponsorships this year. Otherwise, we will all die.
How different is it from the Home Affairs Ministerial Decree of 2007?
In 2007, there is no mention of a ban for the professionals. Next year we will really impose the ban. KONI can apply for funds, but they cannot be used by the professional clubs.
Is there a clause to punish whomever in the regions are still allocating state funds for professional clubs?
We will scratch anyone off the list if we find the Regional Budget being allocated to professional clubs in 2012. The Regional State Budget must register in this office first before it becomes official.
So far, the disbursement of the funds is through special funds or social assistance channels.
The regional or provincial executives are welcome to use the funds, but they must monitor how the funds are used. These funds must be accounted for by the regional chief executives. They must be asked what the money was used for. Even us, a government agency, can be investigated.
What has been the accountability of regional leaders so far?
They are audited by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK). After a clear regulation is established the BPK can use them as a reference point. If some confusion is seen, the executive will be blamed. So far there has been nothing because the ban is not in place yet. Oversight is in the hands of the BPK, we create the Regional Budget and related policies.
Many clubs have declared their rejection of the new regulations.
No way. They are professionals. If all professional clubs ask for funds, nothing would be left in the Regional Budget. I would like to see clubs turning to the private sector for possible collaboration. Take the example of Semen Padang. When I was in Padang, not one club did I offer funds to. Go and ask PT Semen Padang which gave them assistance. If they have a budget for advertising, go ahead and use it.
Many government agencies in the provinces have been indicted with corruption in the football funds. What do you think?
We are now heading towards an era of good governance. There are no longer gray areas. We must be firm. All state money must be accounted for. There can be no aid without responsibility. People accepting money must also be investigated. A receipt is not enough to show accountability. All violators must be penalized, not just people in football.
Could it be that some regional leaders—like governors or district chiefs—also act as club managers. Will you forbid such concurrent positions?
Ideally, regional leaders should own all clubs. They are the patrons of all sport activities in their areas.