Joint Bahrain-Saudi bid to host Olympics rejected

Gulf Daily News
Thursday, 29th January 2015
Email: gdnnews@gdn.com.bh
11
Victim boarded bus
at the last minute...
n Relatives and friends attend the funeral of three members of the Al Asfoor family
who have been discharged from the hospital
and are on the process of sending the remaining.”
Businessman Ahmed Hassan, who was on
board the bus with his seven-member family,
told the GDN they were yet to recover from the
initial shock of the crash.
“Almost everyone on board the bus were
from Sitra, from three or four families, and so
they were all related or were friends,” he said.
“We have still not got over the shock of it, but
by God’s grace most of us escaped with minor
injuries.
By RAJI UNNIKRISHNAN
A BAHRAINI who died in a crash in Kuwait
this week was not supposed to be on the bus
carrying pilgrims to Iraq, according to his
relatives.
Jaffar Mohammed Al Asfoor, 44, died on
impact when the coach, carrying 45 Bahrainis,
was reportedly overtaken by a water tanker on
Abdali Road, north of Kuwait City, causing it to
crash into a truck carrying bricks.
He was among four Bahrainis who died
on Monday, including his son Moosa Al Asfoor, 24, and his uncle 87-year-old Salman
Al Asfoor, along with bus driver Maitham
Abdulla, 29.
All three members of the Al Asfoor family were
buried in the Sitra Cemetery yesterday, while
Mr Abdulla’s body was flown into the country
yesterday.
A family member said that the 44-year-old
had planned to fly to Karbala in Iraq – the
destination of the bus – with his wife a day earlier, but changed his mind at the last moment.
“He was supposed to fly to Karbala with his
wife on Sunday, but at the last minute he decided
to travel by bus and his wife went on flight,” he told
the GDN.
“She went ahead so that she could make ar-
Helpful
n The deceased, from left, Salman Al Asfoor, Jaffar Al Asfoor and Moosa Al Asfoor
rangements for the family members who were
scheduled to reach a day later.
“His wife was informed and she is back in
Bahrain.”
The GDN had reported that 26 pilgrims, who
were involved in the crash that killed a total
of five people and injured more than 50, returned home on Tuesday night, while two more
who were discharged from hospital arrived in
Bahrain yesterday afternoon.
According to Bahrain Embassy consular Ebtisam Al Ruwaie, six Bahrainis admitted to Al
Jahra Hospital in Kuwait are in need of emergency surgeries.
“There are six who need emergency surgeries
and we are waiting for more details from doctors in Al Jahra,” she told the GDN.
“We have sent back the first batch of people
“I haven’t been able to sleep for the past
two days and I must mention that the Kuwaitis
were very helpful at the accident site and in
the hospital, much before any Bahrainis could
reach us,” explained Mr Hassan, while recalling the incident.
The GDN earlier reported that the fifth person who died in the accident was an Egyptian
man.
Gulf Air said in a statement yesterday that
all Bahraini travellers involved in the accident
would be brought back to Bahrain over the
coming days, according to their state of health.
raji@gdn.com.bh
Joint Bahrain-Saudi bid to host Olympics rejected
PLANS for a joint Bahrain-Saudi bid
to host a future Olympic Games have
been rejected outright by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
It comes after Saudi Arabian General Organisation for Youth and
Sports presidential representative
Prince Fahd bin Jalawi Al Saud, who
also serves as an international relations consultant to the president of
the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, told French sporting website
Francs Jeux that recent IOC resolutions paved the way for such a bid
with men’s event held in Saudi Arabia
and the women’s competitions in Bahrain.
However, IOC President Thomas
Bach was quick to dismiss the idea of
a segregated Olympics.
“A commitment to ‘non-discrimination’ will be mandatory for all countries hoping to bid for the Olympics in
the future,” Mr Bach said.
“This was made very clear in the
Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms and
will even be in the host city contract.
“If this is not applied, the bid would
not be admissible – countries like Saudi Arabia must really work to allow
female athletes to ‘freely participate.’”
Prince Fahd had said in his interview
with Francs Jeux that a Bahrain-Saudi
joint candidacy would be allowed under the Olympic Agenda 2020 reform
package, recently approved by the
IOC in Monaco.
These changes opened the door to
events being held outside a host city
or country, as well as the possibility
of joint bids by cities, neighbouring
countries or regions, but only in “ex-
ceptional cases”.
“Our society can be very conservative – it has a hard time accepting that
women can compete in sports, especially in swimming,” said Prince Fahd.
Conservative
“Wearing sports clothing in public is
not really allowed (and) for these cultural reasons, it is difficult to bid for
certain big international events.
“(But) we could envisage it with
Bahrain, we have always had a form
of co-operation with that country.
“Since the vote on Agenda 2020, we
could envisage a joint bid – Bahrain
would hold the women’s events, we
would hold the men’s competitions.”
In a statement, IOC spokesman
Mark Adams said that Saudi Arabia
“cannot simply outsource certain issues to another territory”.
For the first time ever, Saudi Arabia
sent two women to the last Olympics
Games, held in London in 2012.
However, it was a male-only Saudi
team that attended last year’s Asian
Games in Incheon, South Korea.