Exclusive: EOC General Assembly moved from Israel to Italy due to Gaza Strip conflict
Monday, 19 November 2012
November 19 - The European Olympic Committee (EOC) are set to move their General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting next month from Israel to Italy due to the escalating Gaza Strip crisis in the region.
Over 25 people have been killed in the last week in the Gaza Strip located between Israel and Egypt as Israeli forces keep up air strikes that they say are aimed at stopping rocket attacks against them.
Fewer rockets have been launched but Israeli towns are still being hit in a war that has so far seen 95 Palestinians and three Israelis killed in six days of violence.
The nearby Israeli city of Eilat was scheduled to host the EOC's 41st General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting on December 7-8.
But insidethegames has been informed by the EOC that both meetings will be moved to Rome after several National Olympic Committees (NOC) made it clear that they would not travel to Israel with the bloody conflict going on.
The General Assembly and Executive Committee Meeting will still be held on December 7-8 while it has been moved to Rome because that is where the EOC headquarters are based.
The EOC were understood to be reluctant to move the event after the Olympic Committee of Israel (OCI) had spent almost three years organising the prestigious gathering but they were left with no choice given that the attendance would have been so low.
The General Assembly next month is set to be of huge importance as the main item on the agenda is the formation of a potential European Games.
The European Games has been discussed at length by the EOC for many years and the General Assembly in Rome will make a final decision on whether it should be put in place or not.
The gathering will also be significant as it will be the last EOC General Assembly attended by Jacque Rogge in his capacity as International Olympic Committee (IOC) President.
Rogge, who is set to step down as IOC President next year, served as EOC President from 1989-2001 before he relinquished the role when he became IOC President in 2001.
Rogge will step down as IOC President following the IOC Session in Buenos Aires next September.