The confirmation is in answer to questions put to the ETBF, following their statement earlier this week, saying that the Spanish Government had instructed its sports federations not to participate in Championships where players from Gibraltar also participated, and as a consequence, the ETBF were forced to change, at short notice, the European Champions Cup 2007 venue to Luxembourg. Spain had been the intended hosts until they made their objections to Gibraltar's participation known.
In reply to questions on whether any sanctions would be applied against the Spanish Federation by the ETBF, their President, Addie Ophelders, said today:
“The answer to your question is loud and clear: No, ETBF is not going to sanction FEB (the Spanish Bowling Federation).”
When asked if Spain would be participating in Luxembourg, in the light of the continued participation in the European Champions Cup 2007 by a team from the Gibraltar Tenpin Bowling Association, Mr Ophelders said he did not know whether Spain is participating in the ECC 2007 in Luxembourg, and added:
“From our side (ETBF side) there is no objection (to Spain) to participate.
ALL our member federations (and we have 48 at the moment in Europe) are and should be allowed to participate.”
Mr Ophelders added his own view to the Spanish Government’s policy towards Gibraltar and our participation in international sporting events, saying:
“I can only hope that the Spanish government is changing its policy with regard to Gibraltar soon because that would be good for our sport in general and for the sportsmen and sportswomen in Spain in particular.”
All very good sentiment, though he might have spared a thought for Gibraltarian sportsmen and sportswomen too.
In any case, once again, Spain is allowed to continue to discriminate against Gibraltar sporting bodies and participants, despite the inconvenience caused to many international events and sporting associations and federations, such as the ETBF, who continue to allow Spain to carry on its bullying, scurrilous and unsportmanlike tactics against Gibraltar, allowing Spain to get away with it, totally without sanction or even a sign of disapprobation.
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