Sports bodies the world over, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and football’s governing body FIFA, have announced sanctions against Russia, which can have far-reaching consequences for the country as a sporting nation in the future.
Here’s how the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine by Russian forces threaten to wipe Russia out from world sports:
1. IOC calls for stripping Russia of host status for sports events
The International Olympic Committee has urged sports bodies to cancel or move all events they plan to hold in Russia and Belarus, and stop using the countries’ flags and national anthems.
Russia breached the Olympic Truce by invading Ukraine four days after the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.
IOC Executive Board urges all International Federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned… https://t.co/S1vEpKLgrX
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) 1645799267000
2. FIFA bans Russia from hosting international football matches
No international football matches will be played in Russia and the country’s flag and anthem will be banned from any of their matches abroad, with the governing body of world football, FIFA, announcing a number of sanctions against Russia.
FIFA said the Russian national team could now not compete as Russia, but as the Football Union of Russia (RFU) and any games would be held with no fans on neutral territory.
FIFA however drew a swift backlash from European nations for not immediately expelling Russia from World Cup qualifying and only ordering the country to play without its flag and anthem at neutral venues under the name of its federation — the Football Union of Russia.
Protesting against FIFA’s response, Poland, Sweden, England and Czech Republic said they would still refuse to play Russia in international fixtures, including in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Statement from The FA: https://t.co/mBTJ2y5gh8
— The FA (@FA) 1645989190000
3. UEFA shifts Champions League final from St Petersburg to Paris
The governing body of European football, UEFA, removed Russia as the host of the 2022 Champions League final, moving the summit clash and the most prestigious match in European club football from the Krestovsky stadium in St. Petersburg to the Stade de France in Paris.
The showpiece final of the European men’s football season will still be held on May 28, as originally planned, but now at the 80,000-seat Stade de France in the Saint-Denis suburb of the French capital after the decision taken by UEFA’s executive committee.
4. Russian F1 Grand Prix cancelled
Formula One dropped this season’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, as the invasion of Ukraine continued to attract punitive action by the sporting world against Russia.
The F1 race wasn’t due until September in the Black Sea resort of Sochi but the motorsport series leadership decided it would be “impossible” to stage the Grand Prix after talks with teams and the governing body FIA.
Even before this decision was announced, four time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vetell had said that he would not race in Russia after what has happened in Ukraine.
5. International Judo Federation suspends Russian president Putin
The International Judo Federation (IJF) suspended Vladimir Putin as its honorary president.
“In light of the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine, the International Judo Federation announces the suspension of Vladimir Putin’s status as Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation,” the International Judo Federation in a statement said.
#UPDATE Russian president Vladimir Putin has been suspended as honorary president of the International Judo Federat… https://t.co/tU6ToLaCLu
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) 1645953807000
6. Uncertain future for F1’s only Russian driver
Haas Formula One team boss Guenther Steiner acknowledged that his team’s Russian racer Nikita Mazepin faces an uncertain future due to the fallout of Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
The 22-year-old was signed on for a race seat last year as part of a title sponsorship deal the U.S.-owned team struck with Russian potash producer Uralkali, owned by his billionaire father Dmitry Mazepin.
7. World chess body FIDE severs ties with Russian, Belarus sponsors
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) headed by Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has condemned the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.
At an extraordinary meeting of the FIDE Council, the chess body announced termination of all existing sponsorship agreements with any Belarusian and Russian sanctioned and/or state-controlled companies and will not enter into new sponsorship agreements with any such companies.
8. Junior swimming World Championships moved from Russia
Swimming’s global governing body FINA has called off the World Junior Swimming Championships that were set to take place in Kazan, Russia, in late August, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
FINA said it had made the decision to cancel the biennial event after consulting athletes and stakeholders.
9. No skiing World Cup events in Russia
The International Ski Federation (FIS) announced that Russia will not host any more of its World Cup events this winter. The decision came after a farcical attempt to hold ski cross races in the Urals resort Sunny Valley one day after Russia started an invasion of Ukraine.
Only a handful of Russians started and dozens of racers from all other countries did not take part. FIS cited “the safety of all participants and to maintain the integrity of the World Cup” for calling off five scheduled events in the next month. Replacement venues are being sought.
10. Calls for banning Russian, Belarus athletes
Athletes from Ukraine and other nations have called on the International Olympic Committee to suspend Russia and Belarus and ban their athletes from international events immediately.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus, is a clear breach of the Olympic and Paralympic Charters — a breach that must be met with strong sanctions,” the athletes said in an open letter to IOC President Thomas Bach and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) chief Andrew Parsons.
11. Premier League giants Chelsea FC impacted on Russian ownership issue
Chelsea FC majority owner Roman Abramovich has handed over ‘stewardship and care’ of the Premier League club to trustees of the team’s charitable foundation. The Russian billionaire announced this on Saturday, amid calls in Britain that his name be added to the list of Russian oligarchs being sanctioned over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Abramovich, who bought the London club in 2003, said the foundation was in the “best position to look after the interests” of the club.
Abramovich, however, still remains the owner and according to latest reports, the trustees want more information about whether running the club would be compatible with UK charity laws.
WHY HAS RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE?
Although tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not new, the current flare-up has its roots in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s inclination towards joining NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). In January last year, Zelenskyy had called upon US President Joe Biden to apprise him of Ukraine’s inclination.
NATO came into being in 1949, formed by the USA, Canada and several Western European nations. It’s purpose was collective security against the then Soviet Union (USSR).
Zelenskyy’s decisions made Russia and Putin jittery, resulting in heavy deployment of Russian troops along the Ukraine border.
In February and March of 2014, Russia had previously invaded Ukraine. Putin’s army captured parts of easterrn Ukraine then and also annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.
(With agency inputs)