IOC wel­come club’s de­ci­sion to ad­mit women mem­bers in 2020 Games

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SYD­NEY: In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee vice pres­i­dent John Coates has wel­comed the de­ci­sion of the club which will host the golf tour­na­ments at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to ad­mit women as full mem­bers.

The pri­vate Ka­sum­i­gaseki Coun­try Club took the de­ci­sion to change its by-laws at an ex­tra­or­di­nary board meet­ing on Mon­day af­ter be­ing told last month that the IOC would find an­other venue if the pol­icy re­mained un­al­tered.

“As we have said all along, gen­der equal­ity is a fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of the Olympic Move­ment and an im­por­tant part of Olympic Agenda 2020, and we be­lieve this de­ci­sion now re­flects this,” Coates, the head of the IOC co­or­di­na­tion com­mis­sion which ad­vises Tokyo Games or­gan­is­ers, said.

“While we had made our po­si­tion on non-dis­crim­i­na­tion clear as soon as we be­came aware of their rules, it was im­por­tant that the mem­bers of the club be given the op­por­tu­nity to make the change in their good time.

“It is their club and at the end of the day we had to be wel­comed by them.”

The club in Saitama pre­fec­ture, which is sched­uled to host both men’s and women’s tour­na­ments in July and Au­gust 2020, had for­bid­den women from play­ing on Sun­days or be­com­ing full mem­bers.

Sev­eral notable golf clubs have changed their poli­cies to al­low fe­male mem­bers in re­cent years.

In 2014, the Royal and An­cient Golf Club of St An­drews de­cided to al­low women to join fol­low­ing 260 years of ex­clu­sion, af­ter Au­gusta National, home of the US Mas­ters, had ended its men-only mem­ber­ship two years ear­lier.

Last week, Muirfield voted to ad­mit women mem­bers, scrap­ping a pol­icy that led to the his­toric Scot­tish links course be­ing stripped of its el­i­gi­bil­ity to host the Bri­tish Open. Reuters

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