December 6, 2022

‘Russia and Belarus should not be permitted to host, bid for, or be awarded any international sporting events’, say ministers of sports from many nations

European Council President Charles Michel said: 'The big question remains: does the Kremlin want dialogue?' [Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via Reuters]
European Council President Charles Michel said: 'The big question remains: does the Kremlin want dialogue?' [Sputnik/Sergey Guneev/Kremlin via Reuters]

The ministers of sports from many European or their equivalent in the United States, Japan, Australia and Korea, issued a joint statement on Tuesday condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and saying that Russia and Belarus should be punished for it.

“Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war of choice against Ukraine, enabled by the Belarusian government, is abhorrent and a flagrant breach of its international obligations. Respect for human rights and peaceful relations between nations form the foundation of international sport,” they wrote.

They added, “We, as a collective of like-minded nations, affirm our support for international sport organizations’ position that Russia and Belarus should not be permitted to host, bid for, or be awarded any international sporting events; Individual athletes selected by Russia and Belarus, administrators and teams representing the Russian or Belarusian state should be banned from competing in other countries, including those representing bodies, cities or brands that are effectively representing Russia or Belarus, such as major football clubs.”

In addition, they said, “Wherever possible, appropriate actions should be taken to limit sponsorship and other financial support from entities with links to the Russian or Belarusian states. We call on all international sport federations to endorse these principles, and applaud all those that have done so already. We also welcome the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to prevent Russia’s and Belarus’ athletes from competing in the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing. These restrictions should be in place until cooperation under the fundamental principles of international law has become possible again. We encourage all international sport organizations and all relevant legal bodies not to sanction athletes, coaches or officials who decide to unilaterally terminate their co ntracts with Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian clubs, as well as not to pursue or to sanction sport organizers which decide to ban athletes or teams selected by Russia or Belarus. Furthermore, we encourage the international sport community to continue to s how its solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including through supporting the continuation of Ukrainian sport where possible.”

Signed by the following ministers or their equivalents:

AustraliaSenator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Sport
AustriaVice-Chancellor Werner Kogler, Minister of Arts and Culture, Civil Service and Sport
BelgiumValérie Glatigny, Minister for Higher Education, Adult Education, Scientific Research, University Hospitals, Youth Welfare, Houses of Justice, Youth, Sport and the Promotion of Brussels of the French-Speaking Community. This signature commits the French-speaking Community, the Flemish Community and the German-speaking Community of Belgium.
CanadaThe Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport
CroatiaDr Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sport
CyprusProdromos Prodromou, Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth Office
Czech RepublicPetr Gazdík, Minister for Education, Youth and Sports
DenmarkAne Halsboe-Jørgensen, Minister for Culture
EstoniaTiit Terik, Minister of Culture
FinlandAntti Kurvinen, Minister of Science and Culture
FranceRoxana Maracineanu, Minister of Sport
GermanyMahmut Özdemir MP, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community
GreeceLefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister for Sports
HungaryDr Tünde Szabó, Minister of State for Sport
IcelandÁsmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Education and Children
IrelandJack Chambers TD, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht
ItalyValentina Vezzali, Secretary of State for Sport
JapanH.E. SUEMATSU Shinsuke, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Republic of KoreaHWANG Hee, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism
LatviaAnita Muižniece, Minister for Education and Science
LiechtensteinH.E. Dominique Hasler, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education and Sport
LithuaniaDr Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Minister of Education, Science and Sport
LuxembourgGeorges Engel, Minister of Sport
MaltaDr Clifton Grima, Minister for Education and Sport
NetherlandsConny Helder, Minister for Long-term Care and Sport
New ZealandHon Grant Robertson, Minister for Sport and Recreation
NorwayAnette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality
PolandKamil Bortniczuk, Minister of Sport and Tourism
PortugalTiago Brandão Rodrigues, Minister of Education (responsible for Youth and Sport)
RomaniaCarol-Eduard Novak, Minister of Sports
SlovakiaIvan Husar, State Secretary for Sport
SloveniaDr Simona Kustec, Minister of Education, Science and Sport
SpainMiquel Octavi Iceta i Llorens, Minister of Culture and Sport
SwedenAnders Ygeman, Minister for Integration and Migration
SwitzerlandViola Amherd, Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport
United KingdomThe Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
United States of AmericaJennifer Hall Godfrey, Senior Official for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

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