South Sudan planning to participate in 2016 Olympic Games, says official

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South Sudan is planning to participate in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2016, an official from the national ministry of sports has said.

South Sudan is planning to participate in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2016, an official from the national ministry of sports has said.

He said the ministry will hold discussions with the South Sudan Athletics Federation (SSAF) on Thursday to determine the possibility of the country’s participation in the international games. The ministry will also handle the case of the athlete Marial Ngor, who is currently locked in a dispute with the federation over his eligibility to represent the country in the Olympic games.

Ngor was offered a scholarship by the International Olympic Committee to assist with his preparations for the 2016 games, but the national athletics federation says he should not represent the country.

The technical director of SSAF Abdallah Bol Chol says officials from the ministry and the association will meet to make a decision on the issue.

“We do not have any disputes with Ngor – only one difference. He does not recognize the association and he is saying the association has no authority over him. He does not recognize the association and this is the dispute by itself. The association represents the country. If he does not recognize the association, he does not recognize the country,” he said.

He said the association recommended him for the scholarship to the International Athletic Association.

“If he does not come to apologize and recognize the association, we will not approve the scholarship and we will not allow him to represent South Sudan,” said Chol.

It was reported some time back that the federation wanted Ngor to hand over the scholarship package to the association, if he is to participate under the South Sudanese flag.

This is going to be first time South Sudan participates in the Olympics as an independent country.

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