Stunning news where spread around the world from Doha (capital of Katar)
Despite multiple bloody wars rocking the region, nearly 20 Middle Eastern countries have launched a joint bid to have camel racing declared an Olympic sport.
The historic pitch – supported by states including Israel, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Saudi Arabia – aims to have the popular regional sport included in the 2024 Summer Olympics. A further 14 countries from outside the Middle East are also supporting the bid, including India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Kenya and Australia, which all have dedicated national camel racing federations (FNCR)
Budapest, Los Angeles, Paris and Rom run for the election. Which city will make it, will be decided in 2017.
A delegation is due in Switzerland next week to present and argue their case before the International Olympic Committee.
At a press conference in Doha, Qatar’s Sheikh Jamaal bin Tamim Al Thani, chairman of the International Camel Racing Federation (ICRAC) and co-chair of the bid, said: “Camel racing is hugely popular across nearly 40 countries that together account for over two billion people – yet it has never been seriously considered as an Olympic sport. It’s blatant discrimination that obscure, colonial sports like Badminton have a spot, and not our ancient sport, beloved from the shores of the Atlantic to the Pacific.”
Al-Thani was clearly referring to a bloc of European countries set to vigorously oppose the bid, citing the unfair advantage that desert climates give camel-racing countries. “We don’t have camels in Norway, so how is it fair to allow this so-called colonialistic “sport” into the Olympics?” one pale delegate said.
ICRAC chief Al-Thani issued a blistering response: “Fair? Fair? The racist hypocrisy is breathtaking! What about the entire Winter Olympics?”
©esther scheiner, israel – the original text was first published here.