We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sat 26 May 2012 09:31 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

IOC says Saudi Olympics talks still ongoing

International Olympic Committee chief says working to find solution to 'not easy situation'

IOC says Saudi Olympics talks still ongoing
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said talks with Saudi Arabia about sending female athletes to London are ongoing.

Saudi Arabia continues to resist IOC efforts to have women compete in the 2012 Olympic Games with IOC president Jacques Rogge saying: "We are continuing to discuss with them, and their athletes are training and we hope that they will qualify in due time for the Games."

In comments published by Reuters following the IOC's meeting in Quebec, Rogge added: "There is absolutely no reason to consider the participation of Saudi women under an IOC flag.

"There is a commitment (to allow women to compete), it is not an easy situation and we are working with them to find a solution."

Rogge is under pressure from human rights and sports groups to force Saudi Arabia to have female athletes as part of its London delegation.

If the issue remains unresolved, Saudi Arabia would be the only country competing in London without a female representative.

Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia were the only countries to send all male teams to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Both Qatar and Brunei have committed to sending women athletes to London.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said time was running out for the international community to insist that the Saudi government allow women to participate.

"Saudi Arabia is the last holdout denying women and girls the ability to take part in sports," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

"The Saudi government's position should trigger serious scrutiny by the Olympic family," Whitson added.

"The dismal and unequal conditions for women and girls who seek to practice sports in Saudi Arabia need to change now."

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.