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Kuala Lumpur is IBF's new HOME!

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by ants, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    TheStar

    KUALA LUMPUR: It is confirmed. Kuala Lumpur will be the new home for the International Badminton Federation (IBF).

    The IBF vice-president, Roger Johansson, announced yesterday that their headquarters, which had been in England for the last three decades, would be re-located to the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.

    It is the first office of a world governing body of sports to be based in Malaysia.

    The move to KL is expected to bring the IBF about US$7mil in savings in the next eight years.

    There were more good news for Malaysia. They have been earmarked as one of the five venues for the IBF’s new training centres to develop players from the five continents – Oceania, Pan-America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

    The other centres will be operated in Germany, Bulgaria, China and the United States.

    In the bidding for the headquarters, Malaysia got the better vote of confidence ahead of South Korea, England and Switzerland. Three others – Singapore, the United States and Canada – withdrew their candidacies on Tuesday.

    There was some consolation for Switzerland. The IBF have decided to set up a front office in Lausanne. It is the first time that IBF will have an office close to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    Besides deciding on the re-location of their headquarters and the setting up of the training centres, the 180-member delegates from 132 affiliates also agreed to the changes in the IBF structure and a new budget system. They also opted to give the five continents a bigger role to play in their administration.

    The decisions were announced in a press conference attended by IBF president Korn Thapparansi, Johansson (who is also the chairman of the implementation committee), Andrew Ryan (chief executive officer) and Tong Wai Lun (chairman of finance).

    Earlier the IBF held their extraordinary general meeting at the Istana Hotel.

    Ryan said that although all the four bidders offered good packages in line with the IBF proposal for cost cutting measure, there were other reasons that helped Malaysia win the bid.

    “Malaysia are close and accessible to other major international hubs; English is also a language widely spoken here; the venue is also desirable,†said Ryan.

    It will take a gradual move for the transfer of the IBF headquarters to KL.

    The office in Cheltenham is expected to cease operation on Oct 1 and by then, the headquarters in KL should be ready.

    Thapparansi said that US$6.4mil given by the IOC for this Olympic cycle year would be channelled to their five training centres to strengthen their development programmes.

    “We will use the Olympic funding for development. These five centres will cater for players from less developed badminton-playing countries from the five continents. The training will be provided by our certified coaches,†he said.

    “We had 32 countries participating in the Athens Olympics. We have given the IOC an assurance that players from 50 countries will take part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and we hope the training centres will help to lift the standard of players from the less developed countries.â€

    The first centre to start operations will be in Saarsbrucken, Germany, in March.

    Details will be finalised on the other centres in Sofia, Colorado Springs, Beijing and KL.

    On the structure of the IBF, it was decided that the post of a deputy president would be created and five vice-presidents, each representing their continent, will be elected.





    1. Pride of the nation: KL will be in the headlines when major decisions are made by the IBF.

    2. Cut costs and save time: Meetings or seminars will be just in the neighbourhood (save travelling time and money).

    3. Employment opportunities: Retired shuttlers or the public have a chance of joining the IBF.

    4. Better know-how: The close proximity will enable the BAM to enjoy first-hand news on the game and direct transfer of technology.

    5. Standard of coaching will improve: Opportunities for more local players and coaches to improve themselves.

    6. More sponsors: By having the IBF here, it will lift the profile of the sport and sponsors are likely to be interested in associating themselves with the BAM.

    7. Improve on Information Technology: BAM can learn from the professionally-run IBF on how to improve their website and other IT-related matters.

    8. Tourism: More foreigners are expected to visit Malaysia.
     
  2. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    My heartiest congratulations to our close neighbour, Malaysia, for being successful in its bid as the new home for the IBF headquarters and as one of the five new IBF training centres.

    In my opinion, when compared with the other three bidding countries, South Korea, England and Switzerland, Malaysia stood out as the most suitable. I am surprised that England bid to retain its former position, which it had held for the last 30 years and for which a decision has been made to move the IBF HQ away from it in the first place!

    What South Korea lacks is its versatility in the English language and the popularity of badminton in the country relative to other sports such as soccer, volleyball or even handball. No doubt South Korea has produced some of the finest badminton players in the world but the extent of popularising the game to the schools and the grassroots level is very much in doubt.

    I can't say much of Switzerland as the country has not really shone in world badminton in terms of producing world class players and in the development of the game in the country. It certainly was a consolation to have Switzerland selected as the IBF front office in Europe, near the International Olympic Committee's headquarters. Hopefully, the related costs of setting up and maintaining that office will not be unduly high.

    Malaysia has always maintained very high playing standards and is one of the few world-class badminton countries which really develop the game from the bottom to the top level. There are many training centres and sports schools to ensure a continuous supply of badminton talents and the support of the government and commercial houses has always been present.

    Like China and Indonesia, badminton has always occupy a high pedestal and is immensely popular with the people. The rewards have been plentiful for these countries for many years now. English has always been widely used in Malaysia, although there was a slowdown in the learning of that language in the schools and tertiary institutions due to a change of policy to emphasize on the national language, Malay. But now, English has recently been resurrected and will again enjoy the popularity it had been used to.

    With the domination of the game for so long in the hands of these Asian badminton giants, it is high time that the administration and development of world badminton should now shift to the East. Asia has provided the leadership in recent IBF Councils and the transfer rightly reflects the important roles played by Asian countries. :)
     
  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Loh, any reason why S'pore withdrew? They seemed very strong candidates at the inital stages.
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Yes, Singapore showed strong interest initially and it also baffled me as to why we withdrew at the last minute.

    My guess is that, since Malaysia has indicated interest and for the sake of "ASEAN solidarity", Singapore may have decided not to enter the fray, knowing perhaps full well that it will be down to a fight between the two neighbours, the other candidates not really having too much of a chance, IMHO. As I have indicated, Malaysia's interest and experience in promoting badminton have been impressive.

    By so doing, Singapore's expression of cordiality towards Malaysia will stand it in good stead as both neighbours have been working well together recently in many areas of cooperation. This is a new positive relationship between S & M and we certainly want it to grow stronger in years to come. If you think about it, KL is just 'a stone's throw' away and it is conceivable that M'sia will want to get S'pore involved in assisting it to carry out its heavy responsibilities to develop world badminton not too far down the road. This can pave the way for further teamwork between the two neighbours and enhance existing ties further. Isn't this outcome a better one? :)

    You may therefore say it is 'good politics' that made Singapore pull out the last minute. :D
     
  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    That certainly is an optimistic way of looking at the situation:) I'll keep my private thoughts.......to myself. LOL :D
     
  6. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Well in a way it may be much cheaper for Sporeans to train in Msia when Ibf has come up with some proposals for trainning future stars.
     
  7. jump_smash

    jump_smash Regular Member

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  8. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    this is certainly a big news, very very big news, in fact. i am surprised forum members have so little response so far.

    the IBF for decades has been located in England where the sport originated. this maybe the biggest change in the badminton governing organization(s) since the merger of the two badminton federations in the 80s.

    it is still early to tell if the change will be a good or a bad one. we will just have to wait and see what impact this has on the sport of badminton. let's hope the result of the location change, ie. the new blood, location and extra cash benefits badminton in a positive manner.
     
  9. wood_22_chuck

    wood_22_chuck Regular Member

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    Does anyone have any insight on the going-on of IBF? Besides the press releases, I mean. Positive stuff?

    -dave
     
  10. Dill

    Dill Regular Member

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    Going by what the local reaction is, this is seen as a bad move for European badminton and may sound the death blow for the game, many are seeing this as asia taking care of asia, there was also a lot more said at the meeting about the representation on any boards by people and their agendas and other paid posts and how they bring conflicts of interests into the ibf.

    As for me the way of the world at the moment is jobs being lost and cost cutting so why should the ibf be any different in trying to survive in an ever changing environment?
     
  11. wood_22_chuck

    wood_22_chuck Regular Member

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    Geography affecting the policies of IBF? I thought it's the governing council, or members of the board that guide policies?

    -dave
     
  12. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Lindsey Bell, who used to frequent BC eons ago is fairly responsive with emails. lindseyb@intbadfed.org . however, i am guessing that you will need to be quite good in asking questions in order to get the real inside scoop.
     
  13. wood_22_chuck

    wood_22_chuck Regular Member

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    It be sure nice to get some participation from IBF personnel in the discussion here. I remember when eggroll first came into BadmintonForum in "the debate," there was an injection of enthusiasm and rhetoric from that occasion.

    -dave
     
  14. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    this is always a sensitive topic, but one that is real and serious for the sport of badminton. in the past we have seen in some occasions that there are differences between Asian and European badminton federations. but as pointed out by wood_22_chuck, the IBF is an international organization represented by all nations. it should hold a neutral stance on these political issues. their main focus should be the sport of badminton as a whole and no special treatment should be given to any nation(s).

    if they fail to do that, then i predict that the federation will crumble and self-destructs. in the end, controversies will emerge and badminton the sport will be destroyed as a result.

    imho, the talk of whoever gets the benefit is a mood discussion. the decade the IBF has been located in its origin England while the sport thrives all over the world, including European and Asian countries. i am not too convinced that relocating to Asia will make much difference.

    but as mentioned, only time will tell what effect this relocation has. good or bad.
     
  15. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    while i am not sure who'd be qualified to answer the questions, i think the first step we make should be to come out with a set of questions to ask the IBF officials. when we have that list, i will forward that to Lindsey and let's see if she can find an appropriate person to forward those questions to.

    so if you have questions about this move, please post them here.
     
  16. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i found this in the IBF website. an executive summary of the EGM. (written before the EGM):

     
  17. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I'm not aware of the previous management structure but it sounds like they are streamlining and having clearer accountability.

    I am not clear on the location affecting policies either. If more of the council members live in Asia, that might mean cheaper travelling costs for some meetings.

    Will moving the headquarters change the popularity of the game? Let's face it - Cheltenham is not exactly well known around the world
    - Badminton popularity could have done 'a lot' better
    - People in UK are complaining about declining local enthusiasm for the game (and the irony is the IBF is based in England)

    So there doesn't seem to be a strong case that the site of IBF improves popularity of badminton.

    People get paid less in Asia so there are obvious cost issues in wages.

    The relocation brings up very interesting points (mainly administrative):

    1) how are they going to facilitate a smooth handover in staff administration?
    2) are any staff from England going to relocate?
    3) the IBF staff will need to be conversant with badminton but not necessarily previous international badminton players - being on a badminton court does not give the skills in handling office work!
     
  18. shawn30_k

    shawn30_k Regular Member

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    maybe its because if the traditional rivalry of sin and mal.you will understand this if u have learnd sin history.so its abit diff to explain.maybe sin just does not want another misunderstanding to occur again.
     
  19. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    This is one way of looking at it. Is it likely that both Singapore and Malaysia were initially bidding because two bids would be better than one, and when the field was narrowed down, it would have been self-defeating for both Singapore and Malaysia to rob votes from each other? Choosing KL is to all intents and purposes choosing Singapore. :D
     
  20. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Ants, the transfer will unlikely take place before October 2005, by which time the ringgit would have appreciated, I think. There is now tremendous pressure to revalue the Malaysian Ringgit, which is considered too cheap, especially since it is pegged to the US Dollar which has weakened. I wish I have the money to buy the RM now and place it in time deposits for 6 months to a year to earn higher interest and enjoy capital appreciation at the same time! ;)

    By that time, training in Malaysia will be less cheap. :mad: But as you know, Singapore has its own training programme and targets. :)
     

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