Head of Syrian Olympic Committee banned from London 2012
Friday, 22 June 2012
June 22 - The head of Syria's National Olympic Committee is to be banned from attending London 2012 because of his links to President Bashar Assad, it has been reported.
General Mowaffak Joumaa, the President of the Syrian Olympic Committee, will not be allowed into Britain following a meeting of the Home Office, Foreign Office and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the BBC have reported.
The Home Office is responsible for carrying out background checks on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and advises them on whether an applicant is suitable for accreditation.
A statement on their website says: "Accreditation will also not be recommended where an individual's presence at the Games [or in the UK] would not be conducive to the public good."
The Home Office, though, refused to confirm that they had banned Joumaa.
They said: "We are not commenting on individual cases."
A spokesman for the IOC told insidethegames: "At t this stage that we have not yet received any official approach on this issue and it would be premature to comment on any individual cases."
It is estimated that more than 15,000 people have died in Syria since the uprising began there in March 2011.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague has compared the recent massacres in Syria to those in Bosnia in the 1990s while Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the killings as "brutal and sickening".
The Syrian Charge d'affaires in London has already been expelled in the wake of mounting condemnation of the attacks.