Mauritius: Madagascar withdraws from the Indian Ocean Island Games

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – Madagascar has withdrawn from the 9th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) following several incidents that took place during the organization of these games since last weekend in the island of La Reunion, PANA learnt on Saturday from official sources in the Mauritian capital.

This is the second country to have withdrawn from the games after Comoros left last Sunday after the opening ceremony.

The Comorians were unhappy that athletes from the island of Mayotte, which they claim as their territory, paraded behind the French national flag.

Six islands – Mauritius, Madagascar, La Reunion, Seychelles, Comoros, Maldives and Mayotte – started the games last weekend.

The Malagasy Presidency announced on Friday night that “Madagascar was withdrawing from the games following incidents and ill-treatment inflicted on its delegation".

It is reported that the incident that brought about this decision from the Malagasy Presidency was the podium of the 3,000m steeple chase competition, when a member of the organizing committee of the games seized the national flag of Madagascar from a Malagasy athlete, Marthe Ralisinirina, winner of the gold medal, who wanted to celebrate her victory with the flag.

The official determined that she did not have the right to do so as the International Council for the Games had banned national flags and national anthems from the competition.

"The Ministry and the Malagasy people, particularly the athletes taking part in these games, felt humiliated and offended by this outrageous gesture to trample the dignity, the honour and the sovereignty of Madagascar," the Malagasy Foreign Ministry said in a communiqué.

The closing ceremony of the games scheduled for Sunday will take place without athletes from the Comoros and Madagascar.

Meanwhile, the International Council for the Games is yet to attribute the organisation of the 10th IOIG to any country as it is still waiting for an official reply from Comoros that was earlier asked to host the next games in 2019.

PANA also learnt that Mauritius is a candidate for the organization of the next games.
-0- PANA NA/JSG/ACK/MA 8Aug2015

08 august 2015 08:50:14

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