International Olympic Committee (IOC): Curacao not recognized as a country nor a state
WILLEMSTAD – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has once again rejected Curaçao’s request to obtain Olympic status. Rignaal ‘Jean’ Francisca and legal adviser Roy Bottse were in Lausanne, Switzerland at the end of March, in connection with the case that Federashon Deporte i Olimpiko (FDOK) had brought against the IOC.
The court decision in the matter, which has been going on for ten years, means that Curaçao top athletes cannot participate in the Olympic Games under their own flag. Despite this rejection, the eleven-year struggle has also had its benefits.
Bottse explains that there was previously a condition that at least five sports federations must be accepted by international associations in order to receive Olympic recognition.
“We amply comply with this. There are now 24 local associations and federations that are internationally recognized and that also practice the sport at an international level. And that is a great good. Because don’t forget that these are annual international competitions under the Curaçao flag. The Olympics are only once every four years. And it is also true that there is now only one athlete who has reached such a level that he can participate in the Olympic Games and that is the sports shooter Philip Elhage who will now play for Aruba.”
The legal costs in this case amount to more than 10,000 francs on the part of FDOK, but Bottse says that in that world these are small amounts and no reason for Curaçao to give up the fight. “It is about the dignity of Curaçao. And it is also about the bigger issue: Although Curaçao is a Country with a Constitution, we are not internationally recognized as such. We are neither a Country nor a State. So the Charter must be looked at within the Kingdom. It must be possible to maintain the ties with and in the Kingdom, whereby Curaçao can still meet the conditions for international recognition.”