Princess Reema bint Bandar appointed member of International Olympic Committee

Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan has been elected as a member for International Olympic Committee (IOC) during its session on Friday. (Twitter: @alekhbariyatv)
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Updated 18 July 2020

Princess Reema bint Bandar appointed member of International Olympic Committee

  • Princess Reema has been Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US since February 2019
  • Also elected to the IOC was Sebastian Coe, the head of World Athletics, and four others

JEDDAH: Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud has been elected as member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) during its session on Friday.

“Honored to be elected as a member of IOC. Thank you to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, HRH Crown Prince, and Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal (president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee) for their support. It has been an honor to serve my community through the universal language of sports,” said the princess on her official Twitter account.

Five candidates — three women and two men — have been nominated for membership by the IOC executive board.

The 136th IOC session chaired by its president, Dr. Thomas Bach, was held virtually on Friday, and voted in Princess Reema as the first Saudi women to hold this post. Princess Reema is the third Saudi in this position after the late Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (1983-1999), and Prince Nawwaf bin Faisal bin Fahd Al Saud (2001-2014).

Also elected to the IOC was Sebastian Coe, the head of World Athletics, former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Cuban Olympic Committee (COC) board member Maria de la Caridad Colon Ruenes and acting Mongolian National Olympic Committee president Battushig Batbold.

Princess Reema has been Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US since February 2019, and is the first female to hold the post. She attended George Washington University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in museum studies.

In October 2018, she was appointed president of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role she occupied until her appointment as Saudi ambassador to the US.

Princess Reema has served as a member of the World Bank’s advisory council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative since 2017. She has been a member of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee since 2017 and a member of the IOC Women in Sports Commission since 2018.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), thanked King Salman and the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman for their continued support for all sports, both internally and externally.

He congratulated Princess Reema on her election, saying that it confirms the ability of Saudi sports cadres to be present at an international level in organizations such as the IOC, which is the highest sporting authority in the world, where she, along with her colleagues, can work towards promoting Olympic values in Saudi Arabia and the world.


Iniesta fires Japan’s Vissel Kobe into last 16

Updated 26 November 2020

Iniesta fires Japan’s Vissel Kobe into last 16

  • They are now five points ahead of Guangzhou and Suwon Samsung Bluewings

DOHA: Andres Iniesta scored his first goal in the Asian Champions League as Vissel Kobe powered their way to the last-16 with a dominant 3-1 win over Fabio Cannavaro's Guangzhou Evergrande in their Group G clash on Wednesday.

The Spain and Barcelona legend fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 84th minute to help the Japanese side consolidate their position at the top of their group with two wins from as many matches.

They are now five points ahead of Guangzhou and Suwon Samsung Bluewings and assured of a spot in the knockout phase after the group was reduced to three teams following Malaysian side Johor Darul Ta'zim's withdrawal from the tournament.

In another match on Wednesday, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors pipped Sydney FC 1-0 in Group H with Na Sung-eun scoring in the 44th minute.

It was the Australian side's third defeat in four matches while Jeonbuk revived their hopes with their first victory.

Iniesta, who was declared MVP of the match, had been an influential presence for Vissel Kobe throughout the encounter with his quick thinking and crisp passing, and that reflected in their first goal in the 44th minute at the Khalifa International Stadium.

The Spanish veteran dashed his way up on the left flank to control a long diagonal pass and after advancing further turned around near the goalline to tap the ball onto the path of the advancing Kyogo Furuhashi who struck with a clean, low shot from close range.

Furuhashi's personal joy at scoring lasted only 10 minutes as the forward first conceded a corner and then watched in horror as his attempted clearance from the resultant kick found his own net to give Guangzhou the equalizer.

Cannavaro made three substitutions in a desperate bid for victory after having drawn their opening game against Suwon Samsung Bluewings. But although the two-time champions enjoyed a couple of brief purple patches during which they had the Kobe defence under pressure, the goal they were looking for never materialized.

Vissel Kobe regained the lead in the 74th minute when Douglas, who had just come in five minutes prior, took advantage of a great back-heel from Daigo Nishi and blasted the ball home.

Brazil-born Elekson, now known as Ai Kesen, had a goal disallowed for off-side on eight minutes and when Iniesta struck two minutes later, it extended Cannavaro's misery in Doha.

"The result is bad. We tried but I know that something in my team is not clear. I don't know if they are afraid to play or they are not confident anymore," the Italian complained after the match.

"I need to try and do my best to give them the confidence to play. This is my job. I know they are very good players, and we can do much, much, much better."

Vissel Kobe had landed in Doha after a string of disappointing results back home, conceding a whopping 58 goals in 33 league matches and losing five games in a row.

But their coach Atsuhiro Miura was basking in joy on Wednesday, saying he was ready with a game plan against a side packed with several Brazilians.

"Guangzhou is a very strong side, they have several good Brazilian players but we analysed how they play and how to prevent them from playing to their strengths," said Miura.

"We did everything well and everything went how we wanted it to. That's why we got this result."