TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - One of Indonesia’s badminton athlete champions Mohammad Ahsan reacts to the halted PB Djarum badminton trial cup - associated with cigarette-giant Djarum - as of 2020.
Ahsan, who had joined the PB Djarum club since 2007, said that the cancellation is greatly regrettable as the trials were able to accommodate young amateur athletes to their professional years later on.
“That is greatly regrettable since Djarum is the only club that conducts trial cups in every region, which enables them to monitor [potential athletes] in these areas. Who will scout the young athletes if there are no more trials,” said Ahsan on Sunday, September 8.
Ahsan is one of the receivers of the PB Djarum scholarship who successfully clinched the 2019 All England Open champion with his partner Hendra Setiawan. He acknowledged that the trials were very helpful in shaping his badminton career.
As of The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) deeming the badminton cup as a form of child exploitation, Ahsan believes that it is not the case.
As previous reports suggest, KPAI filed an official protest regarding the badminton trials as they deemed it fulfilled several elements of child exploitation. One of them is having the young participants wear shirts with “Djarum Badminton Club” which KPAI deems promotes the cigarette firm.
In response to the criticism, PB Djarum management asserts that it is a different entity compared to the Indonesian cigarette giant Djarum.