JAKARTA: Asian Games organisers have cracked down on boozing in the athletes’ villages, Indonesian officials said Monday (Aug 27), warning competitors that the consumption of alcohol is “not allowed” and unhealthy.
Athletes who have already finished their events and officials were flouting rules against drinking in the villages, said Harry Warganegara of Games organising committee Inasgoc.
“There were some who came in with beer … We have prevented that, many bottles,” said Warganegara.
“We inspect. They cannot bring it in … It’s not healthy. Smoking is also not allowed.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, banned the sale of alcohol in most convenience stores and small shops outside holiday hotspot Bali in 2015, although it is still widely available in supermarkets, bars and hotels.
Most Indonesians are moderate Muslims and alcohol has long been available, but growing opposition from politicians pushing a more conservative brand of Islam has created an uncertain climate.
Warganegara was responding to complaints that athletes were bored of the food and drink served at the accommodation provided for competitors.
“We cannot control the athletes 100 per cent. (They say) ‘I have already lost anyway, I’m an official, I’m not playing, I can drink.’ But they can’t be like that,” he said.
About 17,000 athletes and officials are taking part in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, the biggest sports event in Indonesia’s history.
Get the widest coverage of the 18th Asian Games (Aug 18 – Sep 2) from Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia on Mediacorp. Go to toggle.sg/AsianGames2018 for details.