Scotland looks to compete in 2016 Olympics independently

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 18, 2013 15:00 hrs

London, Sep 18 (IANS) Scotland will compete independently as a nation at the 2016 Rio Olympics if it votes for independence in a year's time, said Scottish Sports Minister Shona Robison.

Ahead of the referendum Sep 18, 2014, Robison told the BBC that she was confident Scotland would meet the strict conditions in order to become an Olympic nation.

"We're comfortable and assured Scotland will have its own Olympic and Paralympic team. It will bring many benefits," she said was quoted as saying Wednesday.

For Scotland to become an Olympic nation in its own right, it would need to fulfil at least three criteria.

First, it must be an independent state recognised by the international community. It must have a solid sporting structure, such as national federations, sports clubs, etc. Finally, it must have at least five national federations affiliated to international federations with sports included in the Olympic program.

"We meet that criteria," Robison said.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) said it would wait until the results of the referendum to address the issue.

Fifty-five Scots competed at the 2012 Olympics, accounting for just over 10 percent of Team GB's 542-strong squad.

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