Last updated: 13 March, 2012

Qatar and Saudi Araba in talks over female athletes

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei are in talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about sending female competitors to the London Olympics, IOC director general Christophe de Kepper revealed on Tuesday.

“These three countries are very co-operative and are trying to find a solution with us, including Saudi Arabia,” said de Kepper, during a IOC executive committee meeting in Lausanne.

In July last year, the president of the IOC’s Women and Sport Committee, Anita DeFrantz, criticised Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Brunei for being the last three countries to have never sent female athletes to the Olympics.

In February, human rights organisation Human Rights Watch published a report that damned the systematic exclusion of women from sporting activities in Saudi Arabia.

Qatar, which is bidding for the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, has already announced its firm intention to send female competitors to London.