Netherlands Antilles officially loses Olympic recognition

POSTED: 07/11/11 12:58 PM

Curacao stays hopeful about recognition

WILLEMSTAD/GREAT BAY – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has withdrawn recognition for the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee (NAOC). The final decision was taken at the 123rd IOC Congress in Durban, South Africa on Friday.

The decision is the confirmation of a resolution taken by the IOC’s Board in January in Lausanne, Switzerland, based on the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010. Curacao and St. Maarten became autonomous countries after that dismantling, but do not meet IOC regulations that only sovereign countries can be IOC members.


The congress’ decision makes a provision for athletes from the former Netherlands Antilles who were registered before the dismantling to participate in the 2012 summer games in London, England. Their participation will be under the IOC’s flag.

In the period between now and the games in London the NAOC must set up a temporary structure that will train the athletes and then be wound up at the games. This will be done under the IOC’s supervision and with its support.


Hope of recognition by the IOC still lives in Curacao though as the final text from the meeting in South does not mention that the islands cannot seek Olympic recognition in the future. Rein Persaud, a consultant of the Curacao Sports and Olympics Federation (CSOF), believes that exclusion has to do with the fact that Curacao has submitted a request to the Board for recognition. The request has 12 main arguments.

“We have taken a strong position. Because the conference in Durban has not specifically ruled out future recognition and since or preliminary proposal has not been rejected we will continue to fight to the highest sports tribunal if necessary,” Persaud said.

NAOC’s current president William “Junior” Millerson has called Persaud’s hope a mirage.

“The statutes of the IOC will not be changed for us. There are more than 25 countries who also want to be recognized and have not succeeded because they do not meet IOC’s requirements. We have done our best to maintain our accreditation, by talking to the IOC since 2007 about how we could keep our accreditation but we failed,” he said.

Millerson believes that an independent Curacao will be able to join the Olympic family, but stressed that was something of a longer term. He also said having Curacao athletes become members of the Dutch or Aruban national teams was not a good idea.

“We should look for participation in regional games that our athletes can more actively participate in. But ultimately there is only one solution to get this recognition, namely independence,” Millerson said.

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Comments (1)


  1. Haifa Girigorie says:

    People most probably I am stupid, Netherland Antilles was not independant, but was a member of the IOC !! Aruba is also not an independant nation, but is currently a member of the IOC ! Could someone please explain what have changed ??!! Should we not use the same approach as they used to become a member of IOC ??Or do we have a lower level of autonomous status of that of Aruba or the former Netherland Antilles ??!!
    Can someone please explain this !!

    Building up a (future) nation, which is where Curacao is heading does require a participation as Country at all international competitions !!

    Politicians of Curacao please wake up !! The Peolpe of Curacao are verry talented, small as our country we have already received various international recognitions !! We are missing opportunities to expose and build up unity and proudness to be part of the nation of Curacao !!