MACEDONIANS LEAVE SPORT EVENT BECAUSE OF GREEK BLACKMAIL
Macedonia withdrew from the Balkan Badminton Championship in Greece in a protest of host's blackmail related to Macedonia's name, Makfax news agency reported.
Greek town of Polikastro hosts the Balkan Badminton Championship for youths under 19, which brings together young players of Balkan nations. Six Macedonian players, accompanied by two coaches, were to take part in the event.
Macedonia's badminton players, angry that they were told by the host to remove the name "Macedonia" from their national dress, withdrew on the eve of the tournament Thursday in protest at the host's improper conduct.
Greece, the host country, offered Macedonian players to wear T-shirts with FYROM reference.
"The players, after consultations with the Badminton Federation of Macedonia (BFM), decided not to take part in the tournament and left the venue," Dime Stefanovski, the President of Macedonian Badminton Federation, told Makfax news agency.
Stefanovski added that BFM has already notified the Balkans Badminton Federation about the incident.
"Puzant Kassabian, the President of Balkan Badminton Association, welcomed Macedonia's move and endorsed it as only option," Stefanovski said.
Greek side did not accept the proposal of the Balkan Badminton Federation i.e. if the host is insisting that Macedonians play without national insignia, all other national teams should also play under same terms.
Macedonia has been admitted to the World Badminton Federation by the name FYR of Macedonia. The country has been admitted to the European Badminton Federation by the name Macedonian Badminton Federation.
MD: Ridiculous! This is already the second time in such a short time that a Macedonian sport delegation leaves a tournament because of Greek blackmail. Two weeks ago same thing happened in Serbia at a sailing regatta. Greeks wanted Macedonians to take jackets off which said "Macedonia" and complained with the organizers. Is this sportsmanship? No, it's childish, very childish.