Commonwealth: The Gambia Confirms Games Withdrawal Days After Denouncing Membership.

Gambian officials have confirmed that the country will not take part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games slated for Glasgow, Scotland.

The west African nation had, just last week, branded the 54-member grouping of Commonwealth nations, which includes the United Kingdom and most of its former colonies, a “neo-colonial institution”.

Games organisers have now confirmed The Gambia’s withdrawal and said alternative plans would be made for the baton relay.

“All Commonwealth nations and territories are entitled to compete in the Commonwealth Games,” a spokesman for Glasgow 2014 said.

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“Glasgow 2014 has received confirmation from the Commonwealth Games Federation of the formal withdrawal of The Gambia from the Commonwealth.

“It is our understanding therefore, that The Gambia doesn’t not intend to enter a team and compete in next year’s Games.”

According to the spokesman, the Queen’s Baton Relay, which visits all nations and territories of the Commonwealth, would no longer be expected in The Gambia.

“The planning is now under development in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games Federation and we will provide further information in the near future,” he added.

Boxer Badou Jack of Gambia Carries his Country's Flag During the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
Boxer Badou Jack of Gambia Carries his Country’s Flag During the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

The former member state of the Commonwealth Foundation withdrew their membership on October 3, 2013, 48 years after gaining independence from Britain.

The Gambian government did not give a reason for the decision to leave the Commonwealth. However, it comes amid a greater emphasis by Britain on human rights and increasing pressure to promote gender equality.

In an unexpected announcement broadcast by the west African nation on state television last Wednesday, the former British colony said: It will “never be a member of any neo-colonial institution”.

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