ISLANDS around the world will be sending their best athletes to Gibraltar in 2019 for the Island Games – but there won’t be any football.
Gibraltar has been awarded the 18th championships, with around 2,500 athletes and officials to be hosted in local hotels and a cruise liner.
Football will not be one of the 14 sports, it has been announced, due to the logistics involved in hosting so many matches on the Rock.
Cycling, gymnastics, volleyball and golf are the other sports to be culled and replaced by new events including judo, squash and tenpin bowling.
Gibraltar previously hosted the games – which take place every two years – in 1995.
Sports Minister Steven Linares said: “As someone who took part in the Gibraltar Sunshine Games in 1995, I know that the whole of our community will engage once again to make these games very successful”.
Linda Alvarez, President of GIGA, Gibraltar Island Games Association, said that hiring a cruise liner is the only way to make the games possible.
The Island Games Association is set to send its executive committee to Gibraltar in April 2016 to inspect the sporting facilities.