he International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called for the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from all international sports amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
After further discussions on Monday, the IOC Executive Board issued a detailed statement recommending federations and event organizers across the sporting sphere “not to invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions” in order to “protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all participants”.
Such a decisive intervention should pave the way for Russia’s indefinite ban from all international football, a decision which could be confirmed by Fifa and UEFA later on Monday evening.
Fifa initially said on Sunday that Russian national teams would be forced to play “home” games behind closed doors at neutral venues abroad and will have to do so under the name Football Union of Russia (RFU), with the country’s flag and anthem prohibited. .
However, the move was deemed ‘completely unacceptable’ by Poland, who – along with other potential World Cup play-off opponents Sweden and the Czech Republic – reiterated they were unwilling to play. against Russia, “whatever the name of the team”. East”.
In events where their participation cannot be avoided “on short notice or for organizational or legal reasons”, the IOC has urged organizers to ensure that athletes and officials are not allowed to compete under the name of the Russia or Belarus, and should instead only participate as neutral athletes or teams without symbols, colors, flags or anthems.
Russian athletes appear set to compete in the Paralympic Winter Games as a Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team, with part of their 71-strong contingent expected to have arrived in Beijing before the event begins on Friday.
The executive committee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will meet on Wednesday to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The IOC also confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been stripped of his Olympic Order, along with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko and Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office.
This decision was taken, the IOC said, “based on the exceptional circumstances of the situation and in view of the extremely serious violation of the Olympic truce and other violations of the Olympic Charter by the Russian government in the past”. .
The IOC statement also reiterated its urgent call from last week not to hold sporting events in Russia and Belarus, while the organization has also created a solitary fund to support Ukrainian athletes and their families.
“The IOC EC, assisted by the IOC Task Force, continues to closely monitor the situation. It may adapt its recommendations and measures according to future developments,” the IOC statement concludes.
“The IOC reaffirms the IOC President’s call [Thomas Bach]: “Give peace a chance.”