4/20/2019 2:02:29 AM

Asian athletics chief Dahlan blasts UAE’s ‘regrettable’ decision

Asian athletics chief Dahlan blasts UAE’s ‘regrettable’ decision

Doha, Qatar: Asian Athletics Association President and IAAF Vice-President Dahlan Al Hamad blasted UAEs decision not to send their athletes to the Asian Athletics Championships, which starts in Doha on Sunday.

The four-day meet at the Khalifa International Stadium, which is also a Qatar World Cup 2022 venue, will witness top Asian athletes compete for track and field glory, but the Emiratis will be conspicuous by their absence.

UAE, along with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain had severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, in 2017 but the other two countries have confirmed the participation of their athletes at the Asian championships.

The UAE will however, field Nasser Al Maamari, to contest the elections of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA), which will be held in Doha on Saturday.

The AAA Congress will hold elections for the president, one senior vice-president, five vice-presidents, 11 Council members including three women, besides members of various committees, for the four-year term of 2019-2023.

Dahlan said UAE’s decision was a clear violation of the international agreements and regulations in sports.

“How can Asia vote for such a strange approach, whatever the justifications and reasoning might be, as they claim that the reason is the non-approval of the UAE Foreign Ministry. This is not acceptable and contradicts the rules and regulations of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as well as the AAA,” said Dahlan. “How can a country that bans its sportsmen from coming to Qatar, look to get votes to lead the AAA? It is a very regrettable matter.”

Dahlan, who chaired the last meeting of the current council in Doha (19th April) in the presence of Sebastian Coe on Friday, said that the AAA has officially notified the IAAF on the non-participation of UAE athletes and urged the world body to take the necessary steps.

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