GAMES: Australia and New Zealand could gain entry into future Asian Games along with the rest of Oceania, the insidethegames.biz website reported on Sunday
GAMES: Australia and New Zealand could gain entry into future Asian Games along with the rest of Oceania, the insidethegames.biz website reported on Sunday, citing Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah.
The 18 Oceania countries are to compete at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan, and the Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad said that entry into other Asian events could follow.
"I think we have an opportunity. Why not the Indoor Games as a first exercise?
"If it's successful, I think we can also jump to the winter sports, let us do it step by step," he said at the current Asian Games in Incheon.
"They have all those athletes in winter sports and they only have the Olympic Games, so maybe it will be the corridor for their preparations. Then we will think for further sports, maybe the [Asian] Beach Games because they have very interesting beaches.
"We hope it will be a new success story."
Australia tried in vain in 2007 to gain entry to the Incheon Games, rejected because such a move would be unfair for other Oceania countries.
However, Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006, and a future entry of Australia and New Zealand into OCA events would also give the Asian body more options when it comes to finding host nations for future Asian Games, the report said.
The Incheon event brings together almost 10,000 athletes, and not every country can host such a big event.
Vietnam's Hanoi withdrew from hosting the next Asian Games for financial reasons, with the competition now to be held 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.