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Hellenic Olympic Committee proposes amateur ban in state funding protest

The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) is proposing that its amateur sports suspend operations for two days this month in protest against severe state funding cutbacks.

The federations say they are struggling to survive following a new round of cuts in state funding for 2014.

"HOC decided unanimously to recommend to all federations to suspend competitive activities on the weekend of April 12-13 after the state's continued refusal to provide solutions not only to the huge economic issues but also to institutional problems, the committee said in a statement late on Monday.

"The recommendation represents a first measure to show our stance against the continued inaction and indifference shown by the state towards the country's youth which risks being deprived of such an important social good as sport."

It is now up to the amateur sports to decide whether to take part in the protest move. Greek athletes participating in international competition will be excluded from the ban if it goes through.

State funding has been halved this year, one of the latest results of the country's continuing financial crisis.

[Reuters]

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