PETALING JAYA: Sports officials getting paid an honorarium is nothing new. FIFA presidents and officials, for instance, have been known to live like lords. Football is a multi-billion dollar industry.
However, in other, less-rich sports, the top guns also get big money. But is it all justifiable?
In their annual report released by Badminton World Federation (BWF) this month, it was stated that president Poul-Erik Hoyer has been receiving US$100,000 (RM430,000) per year. This does not include his US$300 (RM1,309) travel allowance per day and other perks, like lodging and his business class flights.
There are some who find the amount reasonable, saying that Hoyer has invested his time in the sport.
Long-serving sports official Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said it all depended on the members of the respective International Federations (IF).
“Many presidents and secretaries-general of IFs are paid some honorarium or salaries. Most of them are approved by the IFs, so they are legal, ” said Kok Chi.
“It all depends on the members. The question we have to ask is whether these members are representing the players, country or themselves. They could have easily objected if the amount is too much or it could be that the members simply don’t care.
“What do the athletes get, especially the second-tier players? They work hard, too and try to win but most of them do not get much.
“In some championships, you don’t get anything even if you beat the best in the world.”
“I’ve attended many meetings and conferences, I’ve seen how some of the top sports officials have enjoyed certain privileges. Board and lodging is provided, and some even bring along their family members.
“Due to all these perks, some presidents have overstayed.”
Kok Chi hoped the sports fraternity would be wise in decision-making.
“In my opinion, we’ve gone overboard. Some have become greedy and selfish. I do hope the sports fraternity will review this, especially during this time when the coronavirus has halted all the sports activities, ” he added.
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