Politics in sports


Russian Olympic Committee continues to build international coalition after holding talks with Namibia

Russian Olympic Committee continues to build international coalition after holding talks with Namibia
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The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has underlined efforts to bolster ties with Africa after holding talks with leading officials from the Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC).

NNOC President Abner Xoagub participated in a virtual meeting with ROC secretary general Rodion Plitukhin.

According to the ROC, Xoagub expressed hope that Russian athletes will return to international competition as they remain largely barred due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The President of the NOC of Namibia thanked the ROC for its commitment to the Olympic ideals and efforts made to preserve the integrity of the Olympic Movement, despite the attempts of the west to increasingly politicise the sport,

a statement from the ROC read.

NNOC secretary general Joan Smit also attended the meeting with Plitukhin.

Smit is a member of the Association of National Olympic Committees Culture and Education Commission led by ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

NNOC secretary general Joan Smit holds talks with ROC counterpart Rodion Plitukhin 

Plitukhin thanked the NNOC for its "readiness for cooperation" and "expressed confidence in the further development of fruitful bilateral relations".

The NNOC is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the ROC when representatives from the two organisation gather for the Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, scheduled to be held in Russian city St Petersburg from July 23 to 26.

Plitukhin said the ROC wanted to use the opportunity to "strengthen sports ties" with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa as well as "strengthen direct contacts" with African NOCs.

The ROC is planning to invite representatives of the ANOCA leadership and NOCs from Algeria, Egypt, Senegal, Sudan, Mali, Eswatini, South Africa to attend the forum.

It continues Russia's efforts to build a coalition of countries not opposed to it following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine on February 24 last year.

Earlier this week, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin met with his Iranian counterpart Hamid Sajadi in Tehran to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

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