Tunisia has been told it won’t be able to bid to host the 2022 Youth Olympics following the country’s treatment of Israeli athletes.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said in a statement: “After Tunisia banned Israeli athletes from participating in a taekwondo event, the IOC has frozen all contacts with the local National Olympic Committee with regard to its candidature for the Youth Olympic Games 2022.
“We had to address the issue of the increase in governments requesting boycotts of sport events for political reasons. Some governments abuse sport for their political purposes. This is against the mission of sport and of the Olympic Games, which bring people together and unify people regardless of any political differences.
“These boycotts are against our essential values. We are here to watch this carefully and to act.”
Their attempt to host the event was put on hold following an incident in March, when a Tunisian court banned four Israeli athletes from competing at the World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Hammamet. The ban followed a lawsuit filed by the National Commission for Supporting Arab Resistance and Opposing Normalization and Zionism against the president of the Tunisian taekwondo federation.
The Tunisian capital Tunis, was vying with Abuja in Nigeria, Dakar in Senegal and Gabarone, in Botswana to host the event. Tunisia doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel.