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Epochal Event in Israel; Ngo European Sports Contingent Convenes in Israel for First Time

The Non-Government Organization of Europe (NGO), a sports contingent from II countries plus Israel’s Sports Federation leaders, opened a six-day conference here marking the first time ever that a governing European sports body convened in Israel. The event is epochal in that Israel sports bodies now are given recognition as full-fledged entities in the European Zone.

Representatives are present from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, England, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria. Holland’s W. Van Ulsen, president of the NGO, opened the proceedings followed by a welcome to all assembled by Shmuel Lalkin, head of Israel’s Sports Federation.

BOYCOTTS ARE CRITICIZED

The highlight of the opening session was on address by Dr. Uriel Simri, director of the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports. Touching on the vulnerability of government bodies in interfering with international competitions. Simri stated:

“We have known boycotts of the Olympic Games in the past, but even the African boycott of 1976 was for less severe than the boycott (against the Games in Moscow last summer) instigated by President Carter and one may rightly claim that the tendency to boycott the Olympic Games, for political reasons, has grown with the years.

“The fact that organizers of international sports events, including the Olympic Games, have boycotted participants who had the legal right to participate has also definitely contributed towards the use of the boycott as a weapon in the sports are no.”

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