Politics in sports


Julia Plesovskikh
Russian Federation

Julia Plesovskikh

Radik Amirov: "I disagree that Asia is an unknown platform"

Radik Amirov: "I disagree that Asia is an unknown platform"
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The Asian vector of the development of Russian sports is still a hot topic for discussion. RIA Novosti correspondent Radik Amirov continued the discussion with OSPORT about the possible transition of Russian athletes to the Asian Conference.

-Is the comparison of the current situation with the Goodwill Games correct? Indeed, at that time the Games were boycotted by countries, and now the system is boycotting individual countries, and this is a completely different case.

- "Goodwill Games" were the part of the alternative system. There was no need to change the system, it already existed for a long time — capitalist and socialist. Moreover, the countries of socialism then took the top lines of the podiums. Athletes from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) were far ahead of their own Germans from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in all respects.

Therefore, I think it’s incorrect to say that this is a different case is. Then there were other conditions and challenges. And the systems were tuned for them.

- But these "Goodwill Games" in fact supplemented and did not change the existing system. And here, of course, it is important to understand that in addition to the Games, it is important to offer the sports community something more – ideology, infrastructure, system.

- The idea was based on the ideas of socialism — unity, brotherhood, equality. These are purely socialist slogans and ideals. I emphasize that at that time the athletes were not chasing fees, they were competing just for the idea. Remember the words of the Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson when he was offered to fight in the USA for $5 million: “I am for Cuba, where five million of my fellow citizens live.”

- It will also be interesting in historical terms to appeal to the 1963 GANEFO Games.

- In Soviet times, there was also the Non-Aligned Movement — an alternative more to capitalism than socialism. And the sports events of this Movement were based precisely on socialist norms — unity, brotherhood. The GANEFO games and other sports events were formed during the period of the struggle against colonialism, when Great Britain, France, Italy were rapidly losing their rich colonies — these states subsequently became, with the support of the USSR, on the rails of socialism. Sport as a policy tool was introduced into these countries as one of the elements of "soft power".

- How difficult will it be for Russian experts and diplomats to build completely new connections and communications in the Asian region, in places on a platform that is completely unfamiliar to us? How long will this process take?

-It's hard to say how long it will take. Everything depends on objective circumstances, including elections, reconfiguration of dues from Western to Asian federations. The East is open to us, if only because for the last quarter of a century they have been waiting for us there, trying to establish political, economic, cultural, sports, and religious contacts. And we all looked at the West — moreover, from consumer positions.

I disagree that Asia is an unknown platform. The West also cannot be called such an understandable and mentally readable platform for us. As if we came to France and Italy and were mentally close with them. In fact, there were and are a lot of differences. These are other countries with a different way of life. For example, if you come from Siberia to the North Caucasus, obviously, you need to behave accordingly. And even if you take St. Petersburg and Moscow. Aren't they different cities? Are their residents mentally similar?

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