By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) – A refugee Olympic team will participate at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for the second time after Rio 2016 events, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on Wednesday.
"The initiative is a continuation of the IOC’s commitment to play its part in addressing the global refugee crisis and another opportunity to continue to convey the message of solidarity and hope to millions of refugee and internally displaced athletes around the world," the committee said in a statement.
"The announcement of the Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 members will be made in 2020," it added.
In 2015, the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team was formed by the IOC with ten athletes to represent refugees for the first time ever in the Olympic Games at Rio 2016.
– IOC elects nine new members
Meanwhile, IOC elected nine new members, three re-elected after eight years of membership and four others will become IOC Honorary members after completing their mandate.
The new members include Daina Gudzineviciute (Lithuania), Felicite Rwemarika (Rwanda), Camilo Perez Lopez Moreira (Paraguay), Giovanni Malago (Italy), Samira Asghari (Afghanistan), William Frederick Blick (Uganda), Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuck (Bhutan), Morinari Watanabe (Japan), Andrew Parsons (Brazil).
The re-elected members are Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani (Qatar), Prince Feisal Al Hussein (Jordan) and Marisol Casado (Spain).
The IOC members, who will finish their terms at the end of 2018 because of the age limit, will be granted the status of Honorary Member. They include Prince Tunku Imran (Malaysia), elected in 2006; Mario Pescante (Italy), elected in 1994; and Sam Ramsamy (South Africa), elected 1995.
With immediate effect: Gian-Franco Kasper (SUI), elected in 2000.