Russia persona non grata in sports world



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Russia ban update Image: Zenit St. Petersburg, IOC, UEFA & FIFA

The United States Olympic chiefs threw their support behind the International Olympic Committee (IOC) calls for Russian athletes to be barred from international competition following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘The Times of India’ stated that the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee said in a statement that they backed the IOC’s demands for Russian athletes to be suspended, and urged the ban to include the Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing this week.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non-Governmental sports organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is constituted in the form of an association under the Swiss Civil Code.

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee and the National Paralympic Committee for the United States. It was founded in 1895 as the United States Olympic Committee, and is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado (US).

The 2022 Winter Paralympics, officially known as the XIII Paralympic Winter Games and commonly known as the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Games, are an international winter multisport parasports event scheduled to take place in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, from March 4th to March 13th, 2022.

A statement sent out by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee stated, “The US Olympic & Paralympic Committee and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee Athletes Advisory Council join the IOC and the global Olympic community in calling for a complete ban on international sport participation, effective immediately and inclusive of the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 for Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials. As the world watches in horror while Russia brazenly attacks the innocent people and athletes of Ukraine, this is the only acceptable action to be taken until peace has been restored.”

Russia faces being cast into the sporting wilderness following last week’s invasion of Ukraine. The IOC on February 28th recommended that international sports federations and sports event organizers do not “invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions”.
 

FIFA-UEFA ban

‘The Times of India’ further stated that in a separate move on February 28th, Russia was expelled from the football World Cup after being suspended from all international competitions “until further notice”. The suspension was announced by the world governing body FIFA and the European body Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in a joint statement.

Russia’s men’s team had been due to play in qualifying play-offs in March for the World Cup in Qatar later this year, while its women’s side had qualified for the European Championship in England (UK), to be held in July. UEFA also announced the removal of Russian clubs involved in European competitions.
 

Called off

The ‘Reuters’ stated that the Europa League last-16 matches between the top-flight Russian professional football club FC Spartak Moscow and the Bundesliga club (Germany) RB Leipzig have been called off, European soccer’s governing body UEFA confirmed on February 28th, after it suspended Russia’s national club and teams from all competitions.

The ‘Reuters’ further stated that the UEFA said in a statement, “The UEFA Europa League matches between RB Leipzig and FC Spartak Moskva cannot take place, and, as a consequence, RB Leipzig are qualified to the quarter-finals of the competition.”

The ‘kicker’ stated that the first leg was supposed to have taken place between the above two clubs on March 10th in Leipzig (Germany), and the second leg was scheduled for March 17th on a neutral ground.

Commented the Bundesliga side in a first club statement, “Even if we believe that sport fundamentally connects, we understand and support this decision and hope that a peaceful solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict will be found soon.”

The ‘kicker’ further stated that other clubs in Russia are no longer affected by the exclusion this season. Apart from FC Spartak Moscow in the Europa League, no Russian club has qualified for the knockout rounds in either the Champions League or the Europa Conference League.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, as well as Armenia, Israel and the Asian parts of some transcontinental countries. It is one of six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.

The UEFA Europa League, formerly the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized since 1971 by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for eligible European football clubs.

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