EU Athletes stands with the international community condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with the people suffering because of this unprovoked and horrific attack. This hostility must be met with a strong and adequate response from the World leaders, and we support the immediate implementation of sanctions.
Sport must also play its part. For far too long, Russia has been using sport and mega sporting events as a tool to strengthen its brutal regime. European governments and sport sector must reject the sportswashing practices by the Russian state, companies and individuals.
EU Athletes believes in the power of sport to have a positive impact and strengthen the fundamental European values such as peace, democracy, rule of law and the respect of human right. But for this to happen, sport organisations must demonstrate strong commitment to these principles, and be ready to take action when it is necessary.
A country that bluntly violates these fundamental values cannot be accepted in the international sport community and should face serious consequences. We believe that Russia must be held responsible by the international sport organisations for its actions, as they are clearly incompatible with the values that these bodies declare to stand for. Firm sanctions should include relocating all international sport events from Russia as UEFA has shown by moving the Champion’s League final from Saint Petersburg to Paris.
Finally, we encourage everyone to demonstrate their support to the people of Ukraine and to help in any way they can, particularly by donating to official charitable organisations.
Contact: Paulina Tomczyk, EU Athletes General Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org