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Russian Sport Bans Continue As Athletes Impacted

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Russian Sport Bans Continue As Athletes Impacted

With the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, global sport has continued to be affected, with major international sporting bodies cancelling any Russian competitions and also banning Russian athletes from competing.

Among the major decisions is that of FIFA, which has announced the Russian men’s football team has been banned from qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The move followed UEFA’s lead in moving the Champions League final out of Russia and cancelling its sponsorship with Russian energy company, Gazprom, as well as banning the Russian women’s team from the European Championships.

For an ongoing rundown on sporting events affected by the conflict, see Ministry of Sport’s coverage.

The International Olympic Committee has also committed to banning Russian athletes from competition after recommending all sports to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes to “protect the integrity of global sports competitions.”

World Rugby has recently announced the Russian and Belarus rugby unions have been banned from competing in any international or cross-border rugby activities, going as far to suspend the Rugby Union of Russia from the World Rugby membership.

In a statement, World Rugby said it condemns “Russia’s aggressive invasion of Ukraine and the facilitation of this action by Belarus.”

“The global rugby family is united in standing in solidarity with everyone affected by these deeply disturbing events and joins the global community in calling for the restoration of peace.

“The decision has been taken with the interests of rugby’s values of solidarity, integrity and respect at heart,” the organisation said.

The united moves to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from global sport has been questioned by several organisers, with a spokesperson for the Russian national rugby team saying: “There are good people in Russian rugby and no one wants war.”

“Some of the players are worried.

“It’s a very scary time for everyone.

“I don’t think anyone thought it would come to this.

“It’s surreal.

“We’re all hoping it gets resolved as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said.

Most recently, Russia and its athletes have been banned from competing in international basketball, tennis, ice hockey, ice skating, skiing, athletics events, volleyball, rowing, badminton, canoeing, triathlon, curling, sailing, and global football.

Despite these bans, sports including swimming, cycling, and motorsport have not decided to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes, with athletes from the nations permitted to compete as neutrals, under the respective governing bodies’ flags and anthems.

Elsewhere, several major brands have used their commercial leverage to express their commitment to supporting Ukraine and condemning the actions of Russia and Belarus, with Adidas notable ending its partnership with the Russian Football Union on a suspended basis.

In Formula One (F1), the Haas team has removed Russian potash producer, Uralkali, branding from its car, which previously meant the team’s cars featured a Russian flag livery.

Manchester United have cancelled their partnership with Aeroflot, who has been the English Premier League club’s official carrier since 2013 and was set to remain until at least 2023.

With more updates to come, keep an eye out on Ministry of Sport’s social channels for ongoing coverage.

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