All nations could send women to Olympics

Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar have never sent women to the Olympic Games but IOC say this could be thing of the past.

    Saudi Arabia has never sent female athletes to the Olympic Games but are in talks with the IOC [GALLO/GETTY]

    Three nations that have never sent women athletes to the Olympics might do so for this year's London Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Tuesday.

    Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar are the only countries to have never included female athletes in their Olympic teams.

    "The IOC is working very closely so as to ensure the three countries that have never had women representation at the
    Olympic Games will send a representation, including Saudi Arabia," IOC director general Christophe De Kepper told
    reporters.

    "It is too soon to say where we stand now but we are working hard. What we can say is that the three parties are very cooperative in finding a solution"

    IOC director general Christophe De Kepper

    "It is too soon to say where we stand now but we are working hard. What we can say is that the three parties are very cooperative in finding a solution."

    Human Rights Watch criticised Olympic organisers last month for what it said was their tolerance of gender discrimination by the Gulf Arab states of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as the tiny southeast Asian nation of Brunei.

    Qatar, bidding to host the 2020 summer Games, said last month it would send female athletes to the Olympics for the first time.

    The IOC has offered Qatar wild card invitations for two female athletes to compete in London, swimmer Nada Arkaji and sprinter Noor al-Malki.

    Sport in the patriarchal society of Saudi Arabia has long been reserved as an activity for men. Even stadiums for watching sports prohibit females to be present.

    The IOC expects athletes from all of its 204 national Olympic committees to compete in London.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.