Tokyo golf club lifts ban on women members

20 March, 2017, 21:45 | Author: Valerie Burke

The club decided on Monday to change its bylaws at an extraordinary board meeting after being told last month by the IOC that women must be allowed full membership or the Olympic tournament can not be played there.

The course that will host the 2020 Olympic golf tournament has avoided being stripped of the event by deciding to change its membership policy to include women.

"I'd like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and co-operation", Mori said in a statement.

"Kasumigaseki Country Club is an outstanding venue with excellent courses, and we are proud it will be hosting world's top-tier golfers from all over the world for the Olympics Games".

Yoshiro Mori, president of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee, said he is pleased with the move that keeps with the spirit of the Olympic charter. "I also would like to express my admiration for the club's endeavor to come to an agreement in such a short period of time".

"We will continue to make our very best efforts to prepare for and deliver a successful Tokyo 2020 Games".

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, said last week that organisers were prepared to find another location "should gender equality not be respected".

The historic Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland, which has hosted the British Open 16 times since 1892, voted to allow its first female members in its 273-year history on Friday after the tournament's governing committee announced that the club wouldn't be allowed to host anymore tournaments if they didn't let women to join. After a bit of urging from the International Olympic Committee, they flipped the script.

The private club in Saitama prefecture held three briefings for its members before it arrived at the decision to fully admit women, which required unanimous approval from the board, made up of 15 men.

The vote means that women will now be allowed to play on Sundays and will be eligible for full membership.

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