The Geopolitical Role of Non-Recognized and Partially Recognized Polities in Sport

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:24
Oral Presentation
Rolando DROMUNDO, ISSA, Mexico
Since its origins, the Olympic Games and several World Championships have been a significant showcase for participant countries. For a sovereign state, these events represent an opportunity to display itself in the international arena, while the results obtained could symbolize, among other issues, the success or failure of a regime. Instead, for several non-recognized or partially recognized polities, it is a chance to portray their struggle for a full recognized statehood, for autonomy or simply for recognition of a local identity.

To that extent, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since its origins has argued that Sport geography may differ from political geography. Currently, the United Nations counts with 193 members and two observers, while the IOC includes 206 National Olympic Committees (NOC) plus 8 NOC’s recognized continentally.

Different approaches can be found by the IOC and the International Sport Federations to accept or tolerate the participation of non-fully recognized polities generating also several controversies. Meanwhile, these polities, have been either able to compete as a recognized national representation or have been forced to participate under a different flag denying their chance to promote their own local struggles.

In that sense, without clearly defined criterion among International Sport Federations and the IOC, the whole ordeal is not exempt of the global geopolitical tendencies, where geopolitics impacts the position taken by sports authorities in favour or against different local struggles for recognition.