The Guardian, 22 October 2019, Read the original article here.
- Republican senator says 2022 Games should be moved
- Former Florida governor doubles down on letter to IOC
- Scott blasts Fifa for awarding Club World Cup to China
US senator Rick Scott said on Tuesday the 2022 Winter Olympics should not be held in Beijing, citing the ongoing rift between the NBA and China and the Chinese government’s human rights violations.
The former Florida governor, who first urged the IOC to move the Olympics from the Chinese capital in a letter sent last week, doubled down on his stance in an appearance on CNBC’s breakfast news program Squawk Box.
“The 2022 Olympics shouldn’t be there. Are they going to tell all the American and worldwide athletes you can’t say anything anti-Xi?” Scott said. “Until you become a legitimate country that is going to respect human rights and respect things you agree to, we’re going to quit doing business with you.”
The Republican senator also extended his criticism to Fifa’s decision to award the first edition of the expanded 24-team Club World Cup to China, which is expected to be announced on Thursday in Shanghai.
Scott’s appearance followed his letter to IOC president Thomas Bach urging the relocation of the next Winter Games in which he described the NBA’s rift with China as “just the tip of the iceberg”, saying the Winter Olympics “will provide the Chinese government full access to a global array of dignitaries, athletes, corporations, and governments when someone simply turns on their phone, or connects to the Wi-Fi in the hotel. That sort of totalitarian surveillance must be avoided at all costs.
He added: “The Olympic Games are an incredible opportunity to allow the world’s best athletes to represent their countries, and should not be hosted by Communist China and President Xi, who does not value human rights. I ask this committee to stand up for freedom and urge Communist China to do the right thing, or find a new home for the 2022 Olympic Games.”
Beijing narrowly won the rights to host the 2022 Olympics over Almaty, becoming the first city to be awarded both a winter and summer Games.