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Maldives receives approval to rejoin Commonwealth Games

Shahudha Mohamed
29 August 2020, MVT 09:57
Maldives' contingent at 2019's South Asian Games (SAG). PHOTO: MALDIVES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
Shahudha Mohamed
29 August 2020, MVT 09:57

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced, on Friday, that the resolution to readmit Maldives to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) was re-approved.

He revealed that received written confirmation of the approval from the President of CGF Dame Louise Martin, marking "a very happy day for Maldivian sporting".

"Our thanks to all member countries who supported our readmission", President Solih tweeted via his official Twitter account.

The Commonwealth Games, held once every four years, with the participation of 53 member states is one of the biggest sporting events held in the world. Approximately 4,000 athletes take part in the 261 events spanning a total of 18 sports.

Maldives was a regular participant of the Commonwealth Games since 1986, up until it left the intergovernmental organisation in 2016, during jailed former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's tenure.

At the time, the Maldives' Olympic Committee was training athletes for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, held in Australia's Gold Coast. However, with the former administration's decision, the athletes lost their opportunity to compete in the event.

Maldives last competed in the Commonwealth Games in 2014, where athletes participated in athletics, badminton, shooting, swimming and table tennis events held at Glasgow, Scotland.

After missing one of the games, Maldives will then take part in the 2022 Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in Birmingham, England.

Following Maldives' exit from the Commonwealth, CGF's President Martin had encouraged Maldivian athletes and expressed hopes of reintegration, stating that the former administration's decision to leave the Commonwealth was a political one.

CGF has continuously supported Maldivian athletes throughout the years, providing training opportunities and assisting in hiring coaches for different teams. With Madives' readmission into CGF, the island nation will again receive these benefits.

Rejoining the Commonwealth was a key electoral pledge of President Solih's administration. The decision to re-apply for membership was concluded within a week of the government's rise to power.

Maldives' reintegration into the Commonwealth was officially announced on February 1, 2020.

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