KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The Olympic Council of Asia has apparently defied and overturned a major plank of the international movement’s long-term strategy.
Thomas Bach, current president of the International Olympic Committee, has always endorsed the stance of predecessor Jacques Rogge that a priority of a re-engagement with youth meant encouraging a new generation away from their computer screens and back into active sport.
However the OCA, led by influential Olympic powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, has taken up a sponsorship deal with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba which will see esports featuring as a medal competition at the 2022 Asian Games.
The Games are scheduled for the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Already esports has been added to the OCA’s fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Tukmenistan, in September as a demonstration sport.