Beijing Winter Olympic 2022: African athletics opposes politicization of sports

YAOUNDE— African Athletics Confederation president Hamad Kalkaba Malboum has called for efforts not to let politics get in the way of sports.

“Sports is first and foremost apolitical. Sports is a means to bypass egoism so that, young people in the world could gather in one place without differences in language, race, culture. In a world wherein, we want to transmit the message of peace, a world which is habitable, political aspects should be sidelined from sports,” Malboum, who is also President of the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee said in an interview on Thursday.

Athletes need to embrace sports fully and participate in the Games, he said.

“The most important thing is for the athletes to be present, even if the leaders are absent, it doesn’t stop them from taking part in the competition,” said Malboum, referring to the decision of some countries for not sending any diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Malboum also praised China for the efforts deployed to host the Winter Games.

“As it usually takes four years, they (Games and athletes) should be able to surpass their potentials and achieve the desired results. As for China, I can only salute and congratulate them on the efforts deployed and for making it possible for the youths of the world. It is with the spirit they brought in gathering youths from all corners of the world that we quench adversities and promote the values of humanism. So, Bravo China,” the former skilled athlete said.

The Games will be an important occasion to express the solidarity of global society against the COVID-19 pandemic and send a positive message that humanity will overcome the pandemic through joint efforts, Malboum noted.

“We believe that the coronavirus has affected, to an extent, our daily lives. But we can’t put a stop to everything, activities have got to continue, the youth need to come together and talk about messages of peace, promote the spirit of fraternity, excellence and respect,” he said.

“So I think the pandemic is undoubtedly present but the sports sector just like any other should be revived and sustained so that the effects of the pandemic could be contained.”


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