Jakarta will continue to push ahead with its bid to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games despite the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) clear intentions to sign the host contract with Brisbane instead.
The Indonesian capital had been among contenders to host the Olympics in 2032 before the IOC in February singled out Brisbane as the “preferred candidate” and has now entered the due-diligence phase with the Australian city. But only last month the Indonesian government issued a presidential decree that established the Indonesia Bid Committee for the Olympic Games (INABCOG).
The committee is currently being staffed and promotional material for the bid is in development.
At many other levels, officials are pushing forward to prepare for and promote a 2032 bid with expectations that Jakarta can catch up to Brisbane, even as the Queensland capital and the IOC are laying the groundwork to have the bid approved ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in July. Indonesian Olympic Committee President Raja Sapta Oktohari has long planned to leverage the Tokyo Games to promote his bid, and this strategy has not changed.
Oktohari’s plans to feature a large national pavilion near the Olympic Village to promote Jakarta 2032 during the 2020 Games will likely need to be scrapped amid tight safety and security protocols that have been put into place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Already international visitors have been banned from the event, and athletes and many other stakeholders will have their mobility significantly restricted.
“We already have many plans to promote [Jakarta 2032] but we have to realize as well that we cannot be so intrusive as we face this extraordinary situation, ” Oktohari said according to The Jakarta Post.
“We will still find ways to maximize our chances [with] lobbying. Tokyo will be a great opportunity to interact with other National Olympic Committees and draw some sympathy, as well as to prove that Indonesia is ready to host the 2032 Olympic Games.”
He plans to develop a pin with the bid’s logo for distribution at the Tokyo Games – something that will show Indonesia’s bid readiness.
Indonesia’s president first announced his intentions to bid for the 2032 Games immediately following the successful Jakarta Palembang Asian Games held in 2018. In 2019 the IOC changed its bidding process to eliminate strict timelines and push most of the campaign activities behind closed doors. Australian officials took this opportunity to lobby hard and out of sight of potential rivals that quickly fell behind.
Under old timelines, interested host cities would have had until 2023 to submit a letter of interest, and until 2025 to campaign ahead of a final head-to-head vote.
Brisbane has already secured the necessary government guarantees and has relayed all required documentation to the IOC for final due diligence. Once the IOC’s Future Host Commission certifies the plans, the Executive Committee can recommend the Australian bid to the full IOC Session for a rubberstamping. The next Session takes place July 20 in Tokyo, just ahead of the Games’ opening.
The Brisbane Games could become official even before Jakarta’s promotion plans can be rolled out in Tokyo.
The IOC’s shock announcement in February that it would focus only on Brisbane’s project also caught other interested bidders off guard in a race that had just caught fire. Doha in Qatar and a joint bid from Seoul and Pyongyang on the Korean Peninsula remain vigilant that they will stay in the race in the event current discussions with Australia break down. India and Germany were also developing projects and faced embarrassment at home when they were snubbed by the IOC. Budapest in Hungary had just launched an exploration committee in January.
If Brisbane is awarded the Games it will be the third time Australia will host the Olympics after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Indonesia has never hosted the Olympics.