Politics in sports


Artem Dyakonov
Russian Federation

Artem Dyakonov

Give peace a chance - give us another solutions

Give peace a chance - give us another solutions
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In 2019 the final declaration of the 8th Olympic Summit was published. The main functioners of IOC and representatives of NOC and international sports federations were the participants of it. The participants expressed serious concerns over the growing politicization of sport:
  • Some governments call on athletes and national teams not to participate in competitions which are held in "unfriendly" country
  • Visas to athletes who want to participate in international competition are not given
  • Resistance of organizers to raising national flags and playing national anthems of particular countries
  • Big involvement of government in country's sports process
They concluded that all these measures disrespect the political neutrality of sport. And three years later we see how IOC decided not to resist sports politicisation, but to become a key mouthpiece of the political agenda.

In Thomas Bach's open letter the difficulty of finding the solution was claimed, but here comes the question about what options were actually discussed. There are more than 100 IOC members and we can't believe that none of them gave any alternative solution but Russia and Belarus suspension. Was there at least one suggestion of making sports as a place of union without any discriminations? If there's an aim to support a peaceful atmosphere, here are some measures which could have been taken:
  • All athletes participate in one uniform of peace and without a flag or national anthem
  • Make exhibition competitions with a moto "Do sport not war"
There are many ideas of how exhibition matches could have been done. We understand the difficulty of drastic rule changing and finding a compromise with all national teams. It could lead to massive conflicts and media attacks. At the same point you consider that Russia will be totally okay with the ban. She is under sanctions since 2014 and you think she will also handle it at this time. But it's not true. Despite all the politicial difficulties, Russian athlets mustn't be discriminated by nationality and contacts with them mustn't be cut off. There's nothing worse than suspension and lack of communication, which we all will have to start from scratch.

The most part of participants have personally seen the phenomenal example of the Goodwill games with the moto "from friendship in sports to peace in the world". Series of the games which meant the end of boycotts and peace between two enemy countries. Some time ago people were able to negotiate and reach a compromise!

We sincerely hope that this terrible conflict will end soon and we all will be able to watch fair clean and non-politicized sports! Write in comments your suggestions about solutions, which can become a real instrument of reaching the union in a crisis period!

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