Germany to Send Team to Minsk 2019

(ATR) DOSB says Olympic qualification opportunities for its athletes override human rights issues in Belarus.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 12: Flagbearer Fabian Hambuchen leads Germany's team into the Heydar Aliyev Arena during the Opening Ceremony of Baku 2015 First European Games on June 12, 2015 in Azerbaijans capital Baku. (Photo by Oktay Cilesiz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 12: Flagbearer Fabian Hambuchen leads Germany's team into the Heydar Aliyev Arena during the Opening Ceremony of Baku 2015 First European Games on June 12, 2015 in Azerbaijans capital Baku. (Photo by Oktay Cilesiz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(ATR) Four months before the European Games, the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) has decided to send a team to the Belarusian capital Minsk.

According to a statement by the DOSB on Monday, the decisive factor for the board of directors and the executive committee was the number of Tokyo 2020 qualification competitions available during the second edition of the European Games, which will run from June 21 to 30. The DOSB also says that the event will be a highlight of the 2019 season for other sports.

"The DOSB would like to offer all its athletes the opportunity to take part in these competitions," the DOSB said.

Among the 19 sports on the program in Minsk, nine will also be played at the Olympics in 2020, including judo, table tennis, wrestling and boxing.

The deployment of a German team to Minsk was controversial because of the human rights situation in Belarus. The DOSB announced that the athletes would intensively discuss this topic, the history and the geopolitical situation in advance of the Games.

In November 2018, the German parliament had made available 300,000 euros in funding for the team to compete in the European Games. The DOSB is currently planning to send around 150 athletes and their supervisors. The first European Games were held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2015.

Written by Heinz Peter Kreuzer

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