(ATR) Caribbean territories without national Olympic committees will now be able to join the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization.
CACSO approved a change to their constitution on Nov. 13 to create an associate membership category for territories in the region without a NOC. The measure was approved unanimously at the CACSO general assembly ahead of the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.
The territories of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Curacao, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla are now able to apply for associate membership.
Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Montserrat are French territories in the Caribbean. Anguilla and Turks and Caicos Islands are British territories, and St. Maarten and Curacao are Dutch territories in the Caribbean.
Once the territories are approved they will be allowed to participate in the CAC Games. The next edition of the games is in 2018 in Barranquilla, Colombia.
Previously, only countries with IOC-recognized NOCs could participate in the CAC Games. The IOC, after a 1996 rule change, only allows countries that are recognized by the United Nations to have an NOC.
Territories that had recognized NOCs before this change were grandfathered in and allowed to compete in IOC-recognized regional games.
"We sought permission from the IOC to modify the CACSO statutes to allow this kind of membership so that these territories could participate in the CAC games," Steve Stoute, vice president of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees, said to Around the Rings.
"Most of [the NOCs] are already associate members of CANOC, but they weren’t members of CACSO."
Stoute said that he hopes that the IOC will look into the situation while implementing any changes from Olympic Agenda 2020.
"I’m hoping that the 2020 reorganization also changes this line in the sand situation," Stoute said.
"A number of these countries that are not allowed membership to the IOC although they have a similar status to a number of countries that are [current] members."
Written by Aaron Bauer
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