— Published 16 October 2023

Poland and Indonesia in the firing line

The applicants have been warned: their political positions could now disrupt the ambitions of countries to host the Olympic and Paralympic event. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovićays, Chairwoman of the Future Host Commission, suggested on Sunday 15 October in Mumbai, on the first day of the 141st IOC Session, that countries that decide to exclude athletes for political reasons from competitions organised on their soil risk jeopardising their chances of hosting the Games. The former Croatian president highlighted the increasing politicisation of sport, which is contrary to the Olympic Charter. “We have seen that governments are imposing more and more restrictions on athletes’ access to international sporting competitions“, she told the conference. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovićays did not name them, but her remarks were aimed in particular at two of the countries in the running for the Summer Games in 2036: Poland and Indonesia. Last June, the Polish authorities refused to allow neutral athletes carrying Russian passports to take part in the European Games organised in Krakow and the Malopolska region. FIFA withdrew Indonesia’s bid to host the Men’s Under-20 World Cup after the country refused to host the Israeli team.