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Glasgow 2014: Gambia out of Commonwealth Games

Gambian athletes, pictured here at last year's London Olympics, will no longer take part in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Getty

Gambian athletes, pictured here at last year's London Olympics, will no longer take part in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Picture: Getty

The Gambia will no longer be participating in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, taking the number of competing nations and territories to 70.

Confirmation of the move comes just days after the west African nation announced its departure from the Commonwealth, saying it will “never be a member of any neo-colonial institution”.

Part of the route for the Queen’s Baton Relay, set to get under way this week at a ceremony in London, will now be redrawn.

A Glasgow 2014 spokesman said: “All Commonwealth nations and territories are entitled to compete in the Commonwealth Games.

“Glasgow 2014 has received confirmation from the Commonwealth Games Federation of the formal withdrawal of The Gambia from the Commonwealth.

“It is our understanding, therefore, that The Gambia does not intend to enter a team and compete in next year’s Games.”

The baton relay, which was due to travel to 71 nations and territories in the Commonwealth during its 248-day journey, will no longer visit The Gambia.

The spokesman said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay visits all nations and territories of the Commonwealth.

“As Gambia has formally withdrawn from the Commonwealth, alternative plans will now be made and the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relay will not visit The Gambia.

“This planning is now under development in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games Federation and we will provide further information in the near future.”

On Wednesday, the Foreign Office said The Gambia’s decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth was something to “very much regret”.

It was not clear what triggered the decision to leave the association largely made up of former British colonies.

Though a popular destination for British tourists, the country has been criticised in the past by the UK for human rights abuses.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised the government of president Yahya Jammeh for cracking down on dissent and targeting political opponents.

 

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