The Faroe Islands have welcomed a decision allowing their athletes to compete at the upcoming European Games in Minsk ©Getty Images

The vice-president of the Faroese Confederation of Sports and Olympic Committee (FCSOC) Jon Hestoy has welcomed a decision from the European Olympic Committees (EOC) which allows athletes from the territory to compete in this year's European Games in Minsk.

The EOC does not recognise the Faroe Islands - a self-governing region of Denmark - but ruled during their latest Executive Board meeting that they will allow their athletes to compete in sports where the islands have a recognised national governing body.

It means athletes from the Faroe Islands will be able to compete in Minsk in archery, badminton, judo and table tennis.

"This is a really positive step forward and a huge relief for our athletes who have been putting their heart and soul into preparing to compete in their respective events at the European Games later this year," Hestoy said.

"We believe this decision represents another milestone in our journey to becoming universally recognised by the international sport movement - including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - which will have a profound impact on our athletes and the ongoing development of sport in the Faroe Islands."

The Faroe Islands have a population of 51,000 people and are closer to Scotland than Denmark ©Getty Images
The Faroe Islands have a population of 51,000 people and are closer to Scotland than Denmark ©Getty Images

The network of islands, located around 1,000 kilometres north west of Denmark, have stepped up their quest to gain Olympic inclusion.

Representatives from FCSOC have been present at recent EOC meetings and held talks with the IOC.

They have been backed by the Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic National Olympic Committees.

While they do not yet have IOC recognition, the Faroe Islands are a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee and have taken part in every summer Paralympic Games since 1984.

Minsk 2019 will take place between June 21 and 30 in the Belarusian capital.