IOC's Miro applies the brakes as Catalonia plans independent Olympic team
Catalonia would enter its “best team” for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo if the Catalan government carries out its threat to declare independence from Spain, according to Gerard Esteva, the president of the Union of Catalan Sports Federations.
Last night Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president, signed an independence declaration, paving the way for the region to split from Spain, but said the effects of the declaration would be suspended for a few weeks while his government seeks dialogue with its Spanish counterpart.
Esteva responded saying: “If Catalonia will be independent this week, or this next year, we are prepared to participate with full conditions in the Japan Olympics in 2020.”
Esteva said that Catalonia will apply for full membership of international federations and of the International Olympic Committee, adding: “This is our principle goal for the next Olympics in Japan 2020 and also for participating the international competitions.
“We know the way and we know we can do it and we are prepared for having the best team to participate in the Olympics. The best team for us obviously.”
Pere Miro, the IOC’s deputy director general (pictured), responded, saying: “The current Olympic Charter states that the IOC can only recognise a national Olympic committee in each independent state.
“Therefore, we must wait to see how the situation in Catalonia evolves as a potential independent state.”