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Let’s play together – not
The Islamic Solidarity Games has been called off because of a row over whether the Gulf is ‘Arabian’ or ‘Persian’.
January 19, 2010 2:01 by Aarti Nagraj
The Islamic Solidarity Games, as its names clearly suggests, was created five years ago to strengthen ties between the 57 countries that are part of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. But thanks to a lack of solidarity among the countries organizing it, the sporting event has been cancelled.
The event was scheduled to be held in Tehran this year, but the Riyadh-based Islamic Solidarity Games Federation called it off because Iran reportedly used the phrase “Persian Gulf” on the logo, while the Arab states call the waterway the “Arabian Gulf”. Iran had taken “unilateral measures concerning logos used on printed material and medals,” the federation said in a statement sent to Reuters.
“Regrettably and without presenting any logical reasons, the [Islamic Solidarity Games Federation] committee decided not to hold the games with Iran as the host,” the Iranian committee responded on its site.
The Islamic Solidarity Games was initially scheduled for October 2009, but it got postponed because of swine flu concerns.
It is unfortunate that an event designed to promote unity has been cancelled because of a lack of it. While there are bound to be differences between countries, one would assume that they are put aside at least to portray solidarity at such events. At the end of the day, how is any game affected by what a waterway is called?