Iraqi teams banned from Beijing Olympic games
The IOC decision culminates a drawn-out internal feud in Iraq that many see as an extension of Shiite payback to Sunnis who once held a cozy niche in Saddam Hussein’s regime.
In May, the government dissolved the National Olympic Committee. Among the claims was it was illegitimate because it lacked a legal quorum — but four members of the committee, including its chief, were kidnapped two years ago and their fates are unknown.
There is also a potential sectarian rift. Iraq’s Youth and Sports Ministry is dominated by Shiites, while the NOC includes several holdovers from the Saddam-era Olympic Committee, once run by his feared eldest son, Odai.
The International Olympics Committee denounced the order as “serious interference” in what is supposed to be an independent body and demanded the government respect the NOC’s autonomy.
This is not a good decision indeed. Iraq needs support now, not rejection. Is there another political reason behind it? Because as A Tangle Web says, Iraq is not the only country who has “influenced” the Nacional Olympic Committe. So why Iraq is punished with this measure specially?