RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — An Algerian women’s goalball team could be expelled from the Paralympics for failing to show up for two matches.
The International Paralympic Committee said the team did not appear for a Friday match against the United States, and would also miss a match on Saturday against Israel.
IPC officials say the absence could be a form of political protest, which is banned in the Paralympics as it is in the Olympics.
IPC spokesman Craig Spence says Algerian officials “claim they suffered multiple delays, cancelled flights and missed connections” attempting to board a flight Sept. 5 from Warsaw, Poland, to Rio de Janeiro.
Spence said the rest of the Algerian delegation was in Rio. Algerian officials told the IPC that the goalball team would arrive on Sunday.
Spence said sanctions could range from a “slap on the wrist” to the team being “removed from the competition.”