All of the EU except Bulgaria and Hungary Demand the Expulsion of Russia from World Sports

Sports | July 2, 2022, Saturday // 15:56
Bulgaria: All of the EU except Bulgaria and Hungary Demand the Expulsion of Russia from World Sports

The sports ministers of more than 30 European and non-European countries adopted a common call for Russia and Belarus to be completely removed from international sports. Bulgaria and Hungary are not among the EU countries, and from the European Economic Area Switzerland has not signed up

Polish Minister Kamil Bortniczuk presented the common position, which states:

"We demand the suspension of the membership of Russian and Belarusian sports unions in international federations, the removal of the representatives of these countries from the governing bodies of international federations and the suspension of the broadcasting of international sports events in Russia."

A joint statement on additional sanctions in the field of sport has been signed by 25 countries from the European Union, as well as the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Iceland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Norway.

This is the second joint position of sports ministers from Europe and other parts of the world. The first was presented on March 8, shortly after Russia's aggression against Ukraine. "We recommended to the international federations to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes and teams from international competitions and to withdraw Russia and Belarus from the right to organize major international events," recalled Minister Bortniczuk.

The ministers say that Russia has chosen to launch an unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine, supported by the Belarusian government, which is unacceptable, a flagrant violation of Moscow's international obligations, and respect for human rights and peaceful relations between nations are at the heart of international sport.

As a group of like-minded people, we stand by our declaration of 8 March and, furthermore, recognizing the independence of sports organizations, we express the position of our governments that:

• Russian and Belarusian sports governing bodies at the national level should be terminated as members of international sports federations;

• persons closely connected to the Russian and Belarusian states, including government officials, should be removed from influential positions in international sports federations, including governing boards and organizing committees;

• national and international sports organizations should consider suspending the broadcasting of their sports competitions in Russia and Belarus.

In the event that national and international sports organizations and other organizers of sports events decide to allow sports-related persons (including players, activists and administrators) from Russia and Belarus to participate in sports events:

• it must be clear that these people do not represent the Russian or Belarusian state;

• to prohibit the use of the state flags, coats of arms and anthems of Russia and Belarus at sporting events;

• take appropriate steps to ensure that any public statements or symbols displayed at sporting events - by all participating players, officials and administrators - comply with the terms of this statement.

These restrictions should apply until cooperation based on international rules becomes possible again.”

In late February, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that international federations remove athletes from Russia and Belarus from the competition. As a result, many federations followed these recommendations, while others allowed athletes from both countries to compete only with neutral status.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) called the IOC's decision unreasonable and discriminatory against Russian athletes. The ROC is convinced that the recommendations of the IOC and subsequent decisions of international organizations "grossly violate the principles of the international Olympic movement".

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