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IOC president condemns politicization of sport (VIDEO)

Thomas Bach told the G20 summit that sport must be kept separate from politics

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has told world leaders at the G20 summit in Indonesia that sport must be permitted to proceed to unite people in “peaceful competition without any discrimination.”

Speaking in a year in which global sport has, some might say, become entangled in a political sphere due to the conflict in Ukraine, as well as pushback against perceived discrimination ahead of this month’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Bach said in a speech that the primary objective of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was to “[bring] the whole world together in peaceful competition.”

The IOC was firm-voiced in its crusade to impose sporting restrictions on teams and athletes from both Russia and Belarus in the wake of the launch of Russia’s military action in Ukraine in late February – a stance which compelled several other sporting federations to follow suit.

But Bach has now preached caution, suggesting that swinging the pendulum too far in one direction might lead to undesirable consequences being imposed on global sport.

If sport becomes –in this way– just another tool to achieve political goals, international sport will fall apart,” he said.

Olympic sport needs the participation of all athletes who accept the rules, even and especially if their countries are in confrontation or at war. A competition between athletes from only like-minded states is not a credible symbol of peace.

In this age of division, our role is clear: to unite the world – and not to deepen divisions,” Bach explained.

However, he did say that under his direction the IOC had taken swift and firm action against Russia to express its opposition to the ongoing military operation.

We have condemned and sanctioned the Russian government in an unprecedented way for this blatant violation of the Olympic Charter,” he said.

We are supporting the athletes and members of the Ukrainian Olympic community everywhere with all our solidarity. But, in contrast to the far too many other wars and conflicts in our world, regarding this war some governments started to decide which athletes would be allowed to participate in international sports competitions – and which not.”

Bach added that in order to meet its stated objectives, the IOC must retain a position of political neutrality.

To live up to our unifying mission, the IOC must be politically neutral. To allow future Olympic hosts to welcome the best athletes of the entire world, regardless of political conflicts, I appeal to you, the world leaders, to support this political neutrality.

Let us not abandon this precious unifying mission of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a time when the world needs more solidarity and peace.

I reiterate the call to you, the world leaders, that I made already at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022: Give peace a chance!

https://ift.tt/lH2Bphi 15, 2022 at 11:19PM
from RT – Daily news

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