Arévalo: “We agree with the IOC on the rights of Guatemalan athletes”

President Bernardo Arévalo had a positive meeting with Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee.

by Astrid Luna
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Guatemala City, by  Josue David Acevedo Rivas -AGN- President Bernardo Arévalo held an important meeting with the International Olympic Committee -IOC- President Thomas Bach at the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland.

During the meeting, both presidents talked positively about solving the problems that the Guatemalan Olympic Committee -COG- has been facing since August 15, 2022, when it was sanctioned for being unable to participate under Guatemala’s colors. 

A positive meeting with the IOC

The meeting held with the president of the International Olympic Committee -IOC-, Thomas Bach, was of great importance since the President of Guatemala spoke with the highest sports authority about the possibility of Guatemalan athletes participating under a neutral flag in the next Paris 2024 Games if Guatemala’s sanction is not lifted.

President Arévalo expressed his commitment to finding a prompt solution to the problem to allow Guatemala to participate in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

President Arévalo commented, “President Arévalo commented, “We both, the IOC and the Government, coincide in the interest and desire that Guatemalan athletes participate with their rights in Paris. A series of steps are underway, issues that belong to the courts and others to the parliament, to facilitate the participation of Guatemalan athletes in the Olympic Games this summer.”

Willingness

The IOC president confirmed that the organization is willing to work to lift the sanction against our country as soon as possible, thus allowing athletes to participate with the flag, colors, and anthem of Guatemala in Paris 2024.

Bach also confirmed that the IOC would provide all the necessary financial support for the preparation of the Guatemalan team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, as long as the problems faced by the National Olympic Committee of Guatemala  -COG- with the current board of directors are resolved, in compliance with the Olympic Charter.

The Paris Olympic Games will be held in the French capital from July 26 to August 11.

After the meeting, both parties were optimistic about resolving the situation and allowing Guatemala to participate under the national flag in the next Olympic Games.

Commitment 

At the end of the meeting, President Bernardo Arévalo de León signed the Golden Book and IOC President Thomas Bach presented him with the Coubertin medal for heads of state and government, which was designed by the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, Pierre de Coubertin. 

Bach also thanked Arévalo for his commitment to Guatemalan athletes and to the values of sports in society.

Why is Guatemala under sanctions?  

The IOC sanctioned the Guatemalan Olympic Committee due to the violation of the Olympic Charter in the past electoral process of the COG board of directors for political sponsorship and disrespect to the autonomy of sport.

Therefore, as of August 15, 2022, Guatemala was excluded from the international Olympic movement, forcing athletes to participate under a neutral flag in the Central American and Caribbean Games El Salvador 2023 and the Pan American Games Santiago de Chile 2023.

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