Six ways the Russian invasion of Ukraine rocked the sports world


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked actions from athletes, sports leagues and organizations around the world.

From high-profile protests to Russian teams being barred from competition, the invasion has impacted a number of athletics around the world.

Here are six notable ways the attack on Ukraine rocked the sport.

Russia banned from World Cup and other competitions

A number of international sports leagues have said they will boycott matches with Russian teams and there have been growing calls to ban competitions.

Belarus, a Russian neighbor that helped the Ukrainian invasion, has also faced calls for it to be banned.

The International Olympic Committee Russia said on Monday had violated the “Olympic truce” and recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes be excluded from competitions.

The organization has also called for any sporting events in both countries to be moved or canceled.

Football’s world governing body FIFA and FIBA, which oversees international basketball, have said Russia will be banned from competition. FIFA’s decision disqualifies the 2018 World Cup host from the 2022 World Cup.

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with everyone affected in Ukraine. The two presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and quickly so that football can once again be a vehicle for unity and peace between peoples,” FIFA said. noted in a report.

The Union of European Football Associations has announced that it will move its scheduled Champions League final to Russia.

International figure skating and skiing organizations have also banned Russian athletes from competing, citing IOC recommendations.

But, as calls for bans grow, some organizations are allowing Russian athletes to compete.

The International Tennis Federation has cracked down on Russian and Belarusian teams, but said so allow individuals to compete.

Paralympics refuse to ban Russian athletes

On Wednesday, the International Paralympic Committee separated from the IOC and announced that it would allow Russian athletes to participate in the Beijing Winter Gamesbut these results will not count in the medal table.

The committee also said an “extraordinary” general assembly should vote on suspending or terminating membership of the Russian and Belarusian Paralympic committees.

“The IPC will hold an Extraordinary General Assembly in 2022 to vote on whether to make observance of the Olympic Truce a condition of membership and to suspend or terminate membership of the Russian Paralympic Committee and the Belarusian Paralympic Committee. “IPC will not be holding any events in Russia or Belarus until further notice,” the committee said in its statement.

Russia’s biggest stars speak out against the invasion

A number of top Russian athletes have publicly spoken out against the assault on Ukraine.

The world’s top-ranked male tennis player, Daniil Medvedev, spoke at an event in Mexico, saying tennis was “not that important”.

He refrained from condemning the Russian president Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich Putin Biden’s State of the Union: A call for unity in unusual times Watch: Key moments from Biden’s first State of the Union address Reynolds’ response hammers Biden for his ‘weakness on stage’ World » MORE directly but, on Sunday, tweeted a statement calling for “peace in the world, peace between countries” for the good of children”.

One of Russian football’s biggest stars, Fedor Smolov, took to social media shortly after the invasion began, posting “No to war!!!” on Instagram.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, female tennis star, shared a similar sentiment this week.

“I have represented Russia all my life,” she wrote. “This is my home and my country.”

However, she said, “Personal ambitions or political motives cannot justify violence… Stop the violence, stop the war.

Ovechkin refrains from condemning Russia’s actions

As the number of Russian athletes speaking out against military action has continued to grow, comments from Washington Capitals star and one of the world’s most recognizable Russian athletes, Alexander Ovechkin, have received negative reactions.

Speaking to reporters a day after the invasion began, Ovechkin, who has been a notable Putin supporter, said he wanted peace but added he was Russian.

“I’m Russian, right? It’s not something I can control. It’s not in my hands. I hope it will end soon and there will be peace in both countries. I don’t control this one,” Ovechkin said.

“Please no more war,” Ovechkin said. “It doesn’t matter who is at war, Russia, Ukraine, different countries. I think we live in a world where we should live in peace and in a good world.

Ovechkin’s refusal to call his government or Putin drew rebuke from others in the hockey community.

Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek, from the Czech Republic, called Ovechkin a “liar” and urged the National Hockey League to suspend all Russian players.

“The NHL must immediately suspend the contracts of all Russian players!” Hasek tweeted Saturday.

Hasek took a specific shot at Ovechkin, calling him an ableist for Putin.

“What!? Not only an alibist, a chicken asshole, but also a liar! Every adult in Europe knows well that Putin is a mad killer and that Russia is waging an offensive war against the free country and its people,” wrote Hasek.

Monday, the NHL share their concern, saying the conflict has put Russian players and their families “in an extremely difficult position”.

Ukrainian boxing champions join defense forces

Three highly decorated Ukrainian professional boxers have joined the forces fighting against Russia.

Hall of Fame heavyweight Vitali Klitschko, who is the mayor of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, said that he would fight in the Ukrainian army.

“We stand before one of the largest and most powerful armies in the world,” Klitschko said. “But we have to defend our families, defend our countries, our cities and we have no other choice. I have no other choice, I have to do it… I will fight.

Klitschko’s brother Wladimir, who is also a Hall of Famer, said he would also join the fight, writing on LinkedIn that Putin “makes it clear that he wants to destroy the Ukrainian state and the sovereignty of his people.

He called on Western countries to support Ukraine, saying “international law and democracy are under attack, war is the greatest evil and life is sacred.”

A third great Ukrainian boxer, Vasiliy Lomachenko, has also announced that he will fight for his country.

Lomachenko, Olympic gold medalist, Sunday shared a photo of him dressed in military gear, saying he will be part of the defense.

Pressure on Russian oligarchs

Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich announcement on Wednesday that he planned to sell his share in English Premier League club Chelsea as he faces possible sanctions from the British government.

“In the current situation, I have therefore taken the decision to sell the Club, as I believe it is in the best interest of the Club, the fans, the employees, as well as the sponsors and partners of the Club,” said Abramovich in a statement. declaration.

Abramovich said the sale of the football club would not be expedited and would follow due process, adding that he would not seek any loan repayments.

“Please know that this has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it pains me to part ways with the Club in this way. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the Club,” he said. Abramovich said.

He added that part of the proceeds from the sale of the team will go to the “victims” of the conflict.

Abramovich’s announcement comes days after he said he would hand over the “stewardship” of his football club to the trustees of his charitable foundation.

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