MACEDONIAN DELEGATION LEAVES YOUTH GAMES IN SOLUN
Macedonian sports delegation comprised of 133 athletes, competing in six sports at the "Southeast Europe Youth Games" in Thessaloniki on October 15-21, left the games on Friday in sign of protest, because the organizer did not want to use name Macedonia in any form, director of Youth and Sports Agency Ivica Georgievski told MIA on Sunday.
According to Georgievski, the organizer and the Macedonian Sports Federation agreed in May that Macedonian athletes bear abbreviation MKD at their shirts, or that full reference "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" is used when announcing the national team.
Georgievski says that following the replacement of the Greek Deputy-Minister of Culture and Sports, the Macedonian delegation was offered that shirts read either FYROM or remain blank, something which was not accepted by the Macedonian athletes.
At the Games' opening, the organizer stressed that reference "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" would be used, along with shirts reading MKD.
Still, this was not the case when the Macedonian delegation was announced, but was afterwards observed upon Georgievski's reaction.
The Macedonian athletes took part in all sports, but during the taekwondo competition on Friday, the official commentator did not want to pronounce name Macedonia in any way, which resulted in the delegation's departure.
"We will not allow these young Macedonian athletes to be humiliated, and they will always compete with pride and dignity in the future, representing Macedonia in the best possible way", underlined director Georgievski.
MD: The Macedonian sports delegation was comprised of athletes in taekwondo, volleyball, basketball, football, swimming and wrestling. They did the right thing!