Ukraine crisis: IOC asks IFs to relocate sports events from Russia, Belarus

Mumbai, Feb 25 (IANS) The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has asked all International Federations (IFs) to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus.

It also asked them to ensure that “no Russian or Belarussian national flag be displayed and no Russian or Belarussian anthem be played in international sports events”, till the issue is resolved.

The Executive Board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated on Friday its strong condemnation of the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus through its support in this.

“The IOC EB today urges all International Sports Federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Russia or Belarus. They should take the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian and Belarussian governments into account and give the safety and security of the athletes an absolute priority. The IOC itself has no events planned in Russia or Belarus,” the IOC said in a statement.

“In addition, the IOC EB urges that no Russian or Belarussian national flag be displayed and no Russian or Belarussian anthem be played in international sports events which are not already part of the respective World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions for Russia,” the IOC ordered.

The IOC EB expressed its full support to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

The IOC EB also expressed its deep concerns about the safety of the members of the Olympic Community in Ukraine and said it “notes that the special IOC task force is in contact with the Olympic Community in the country to coordinate humanitarian assistance where possible”.

Some organisations hae already started moving their events out of Russia or cancel them. The Formula 1 has decided to cancel the Russian Grand Prix scheduled for September 25 this year at Sochi’s Olympic Park following Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

The UEFA executive committee held an emergency meeting on Friday and has decided to move the Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris. The 2022 final was scheduled to be held at Krestovsky Stadium, which is sponsored by Russian state-owned company Gazprom, but it has decided that the marquee event final will now be moved to the Stade de France in Paris to be played on the original date of May 28.

–IANS

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