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Danish minister wants to ban Russians from major Counter-Strike event

The organizers were urged remove the players in solidarity with Ukraine

Russian esports athletes should be excluded from the Counter-Strike 2 competition, which is currently taking place in Copenhagen, Danish Culture Minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt has said, citing the conflict in Ukraine. 

“As long as Russia continues its illegal war of aggression in Ukraine, I do not believe that Russian athletes should be allowed to participate in international sports. This of course also applies to esports,” Engel-Schmidt told the newspaper Berlingske on Tuesday.

According to Berlingske, 18 Russian players across five different teams are participating in PGL CS2 Major Copenhagen2024.

The event organized by Romanian esports company PGL will run through March 31, with its final scheduled to take place in Copenhagen’s Royal Arena.

“Even though the organizer is Romanian, I would still encourage them to exclude Russian participation,” the Danish culture minister said. “I would also strongly urge Royal Arena to be more critical in terms of what they are hosting.” 

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Moscow slams Baltic states for targeting Games of the Future participants

Among the participants is Team Spirit, which contains Russian and Ukrainian players. The team’s headquarters relocated from Moscow to Serbia’s capital Belgrade after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

Russia has been banned from multiple international sports events since February 2022, although in some cases athletes from Russia were allowed to participate in their individual capacity. 

The International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that up to 55 ‘individual neutral athletes’ from Russia will be allowed to take part in the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. They will be barred from the opening ceremony, however, the IOC said. 

Ukraine has backed the bans on Russians, arguing that Moscow has been using its athletes and artists for propaganda purposes. Russian officials, meanwhile, have rejected the “politicization” of sports. Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee, described the actions of the IOC as “discriminatory.”

March 20, 2024 at 09:03AM

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