Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) [Edit]

These were very controversial Regional International Games. In the summer of 1962, Jakarta hosted the Asian Games, but it refused to issue visas to athletes from Taiwan and Israel. For this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Indonesian National Olympic Committee. Unfortunately for the IOC, similar rulings had recently been made by France and the United States, which refused to issue visas to East German athletes competing in those countries. Those nations were not suspended. In response to the IOC actions, Indonesian President Sukarno proposed the Games of the New Emerging Forces in early 1963 to “promote the development of sports in new emerging nations so as to cement friendly relations among them.” The original conference on these Games occurred in April 1963, with the following nations present: Cambodia, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea – North), Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Mali, North Vietnam, Pakistan, the United Arab Republic, and the Soviet Union. But Sukarno denounced the IOC in his opening speech and also noted, “Let us frankly declare that sport has something to do with politics. And Indonesia now proposes to mix sport with politics.”

GANEFO was an obvious attempt to compete against the Olympic Games. GANEFO I was held in November 1963 in Jakarta, Indonesia with 50 nations present. The problem was that China, DPR Korea (North), and North Vietnam were present, none of which were recognized by several of the IFs organizing sports at GANEFO, notably the IAAF (track & field athletics) and FINA (swimming). Indonesian athletes also competed, quite naturally, since they hosted the Games. In response the IOC banned the athletes who competed at GANEFO, most notably those from Indonesia and DPR Korea, from participating at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. (China and North Vietnam could not compete at Tokyo as they did not have recognized NOCs.). Indonesia and DPR Korea responded by demanding that their athletes be reinstated or their entire teams would boycott the Tokyo Olympics. The athletes were not reinstated, and the two nations did not compete at Tokyo, although this happened after DPR Korea athletes were already in Japan. One athlete, North Korean runner Sin Kim-Dan, was sorely missed as she was the world record holder in the 800 metres for women, and would have been favored at Tokyo. Sukarno was ousted from power in 1965, and the IOC rescinded its suspension of Indonesia. GANEFO II went on, however, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1966, and again North Korea competed. For this, North Korea was also suspended from the 1968 Olympic Games at Mexico City. By then, however, the idea of the Games of the New Emerging Forces had lost favor. They were not held again.