This is to protect the event’s neutrality and its status as a peaceful meeting, IOC president said.
Politicians and athletes should keep politics out of this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games to protect the event’s neutrality and its status as a peaceful meeting place, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said yesterday.
Bach said any infusion of politics into the Games in Tokyo starting on July 24 would not be welcome.
Tensions between the US and Iran have risen sharply in recent days, while South Korea has said there is an urgent need to improve ties with North Korea.
China, Japan and South Korea recently agreed to work together to promote dialogue between the US and North Korea.
“The mission of the Olympics is to unite and not to divide. We are the only event in the world that gets the entire world together in a peaceful competition,” Bach told reporters after a meeting with the IOC athletes’ commission chief Kirsty Coventry.
“I ask them (politicians and athletes) to respect this mission of the Olympic Games and in order to accomplish this mission we must be politically neutral.
“Otherwise we would end up in this divisive and boycott situation. I ask them to respect this political neutrality by not using them (the Olympics) as a stage for their political purposes.”
The Games of 1980 and 1984 were hit by boycotts that did not have any results, Bach said.
“The boycotts we had particularly in the 1980s with Moscow and the counter-boycott in Los Angeles which brought the Games to the brink of demise had no effect whatsoever.
“Sport was a kind of a scapegoat because all the other political divisions were not affected. The Moscow boycott did not change anything in Afghanistan at the time and the counter-boycott in 1984 did nothing to change politically the United States or the foreign policy in the US.”