ANOC pleas with international sport community to not get involved in Qatar dispute
June 19, 2017
The Association of National Olympic Committees has urged the international sports world not to get drawn into the current political turmoil surrounding Qatar.
The Gulf state is currently in a state of diplomatic isolation, after a number of neighbouring countries, such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and others, severed economic relations with Qatar accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.
Qatar has strenuously denied the accusations.
The isolation has left the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts in a state of financial limbo, while construction continues apace for the tournament project.
But ANOC released a statement on Monday pleading with the international sport community to keep politics out of their world.
“ANOC today expressed its hope that the international sports movement in Qatar would not be endangered by the geopolitical situation in the Gulf region,” the statement said.
“The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and the neighbouring National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the Gulf region are valuable partners to the world’s Olympic Movement and have significantly developed sports in their countries in recent years.
“Sport has also played a key role in opening up the region to the world. Last year, the QOC brought together the world’s NOCs in Doha and hosted a fantastic ANOC General Assembly and ANOC Awards.
“Under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar has shown itself to be a very willing and capable host of international sports events and will bring the world back to the region when it hosts the 2019 IAAF World Championships, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 2023 FINA World Championships and other international sports events.
“ANOC sincerely hopes that the geopolitical situation regarding Qatar will be resolved soon and that it won’t impact on the incredible value that Qatar brings to the sports world. Sport must be separate from politics in this Gulf issue.”
ANOC is led by president and International Olympic Committee member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who is also a senior politician in his home country of Kuwait.
Kuwait is one of the nations leading the mediation process as the Gulf region seeks to resolve the dispute.
By Christian Radnedge