European Olympic Committees refuse to recognize the Faroe Islands but grant permission to compete in specific sports

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) have ruled they will not recognize the Faroe Islands but will permit them to compete in sports where they have a recognized national governing body.

The EOC made the announcement after their first Executive Committee meeting of the year in Lausanne, reports Insidethegames.biz.

EOC President Janez Kocijančič has revealed that, while they will not be recognised by the EOC, Faroese athletes would be allowed to compete at EOC events, including this year’s European Games in Minsk.

They will only be able to participate in sports where there is a recognized governing body in the territory.

This could potentially see Faroese athletes compete in archery, badminton, judo and table tennis, with their strongest sport swimming not featuring on the Minsk 2019 program.

They would also be able to compete at events such as the European Youth Olympic Festival.

The EOC added in all other matters they will respect the agreements between the IOC, the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark and the Faroe Islands.

Insidethegames.biz writes that “the decision appears a form of progress from the FCSOC, yet could also be viewed as an attempt by the IOC and EOC to quell any further efforts to continue their push for IOC recognition.”

The Faroe Islands stepped up their efforts for Olympic inclusion last year.

Jón Hestoy, Vice President of the Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee, said:

“The development of sport on the Faroe Islands is a national priority and one fully supported by our government at all levels and across all parties. The Faroe Islands receives no sports funding from Denmark, so this investment is entirely driven by our strong desire to provide the best possible opportunities for our athletes to compete at home and on the international stage.

“This investment should leave no doubt as to how seriously we take sport in our country and how determined we are in our campaign for Olympic recognition. The lack of Olympic recognition is having a significant impact on our athletes, many of whom are finding they are hitting a glass ceiling, unable to reach their full potential in the sport they love. This is a heartbreaking situation for our athletes and one we hope can be resolved in the future.”

As well as being a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and competing in every Paralympic Summer Games since 1984, the Faroe Islands is also recognized in its own right by eight International Federations: archery, badminton, football, handball, judo, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.

Author: Jens Hákun Leo

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