surinenglish

Anger as athletes are told they cannot represent Gibraltar

  • Four of the five athletes from Gibraltar who were due to take part in the World Masters Championship in Malaga have boycotted it

Four of the five athletes from Gibraltar who were due to take part in the World Masters Championships in Malaga boycotted it after being told they would have to compete as 'neutral' instead of representing Gibraltar, and would not be permitted to wear the Gibraltar colours. The ban came after pressure from Spain, and the WMA organisation said it had "no choice" but to comply because otherwise the Spanish authorities would call the competition off altogether.

This is not the first time such a thing has happened, and it sparked angry reactions. The Gibraltar government issued a statement saying it was "totally unacceptable and has no place in the modern Europe of today", while IAAF president Lord Coe also complained, saying on Twitter that "The IAAF supports Gibraltar's right to have its athletes compete under its nation's flag as they are a recognised European Federation. We urge the WMA to stand strong against this political interference".