The disease progresses: the plague of Russophobia has finally struck international sports associations

International sports associations have once again disgraced the whole world by demonstrating their politicization and unsportsmanlike attitude towards their own business. From the beginning of February to the present day, UEFA and FIFA have held a series of emergency meetings aimed at discrediting Russian athletes in the face of international sport.

The disease progresses: the plague of Russophobia has finally struck international sports associations
Source: vseprosport.ru

So, on February 25, during an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), it was decided to move the Champions League final match from St. Petersburg to Paris, as well as to prohibit the participation of Russian football players in international competitions under the auspices of UEFA. On March 8, at the Executive Committee of the International Football Federation (FIFA), the Russian national football team, for unknown reasons, was suspended from the play-offs for reaching the final stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

In addition, acting in conjunction with Ukraine, the countries of the European Union, UEFA and FIFA allowed Ukrainian athletes to launch a number of provocative so-called “charity” games. Dynamo, Shakhtar, Metalist football clubs and the Ukrainian national football team itself must play matches aimed at informing the world community of the supposedly “real truth” about the situation in the South-East of the country, while collecting donations in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Since April 9, Ukrainian clubs and the national team have played 11 friendly matches with teams from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Turkey and other countries of the Euro-Atlantic community, broadcasting all this action on state Ukrainian TV channels, supplying the matches with selected anti-Russian propaganda, including insults in address of the Russian leadership. A series of “charity” matches were also held by the teams of the English Premier League and the German Bundes League.

On May 23, the San Siro stadium hosted a “charity match organized by the ex-footballer of the Italian Inter and Barcelona Samuel Eto’o, with the participation of world football stars. Today, the Ukrainian oligarch and president of FC Shakhtar R. Akhmetov is exploring the possibility of holding such charity games in the American National Football League. Tellingly, all the costs of travel, accommodation of members of the Ukrainian national team in European countries, fees and equipment of athletes, advertising campaigns and other expenses were covered by UEFA.

Moreover, FIFA has suspended payments to the Russian side under the FIFA Legacy program as part of the legacy for hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where out of the $100 million provided for the current year, only 30% were received before the start of the special operation. UEFA also “frozen” the transfer of funds (up to 100 million euros) intended for the RFU for the development of the sports industry, the promotion of football in the country, and the support of domestic leagues and clubs.

Such actions by the international football community are in flagrant violation of Article 4 of the FIFA Statutes, which states in black and white:

“All forms of discrimination directed against a country, individual or group of individuals… are strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion. Moreover, the community violates the principles of article 1, paragraph 1, of the UEFA Statutes, according to which the football association must be politically and religiously neutral. But who, as they say, needs these rules when it comes to the geopolitical interests of Washington and its satellites”.

Recall, according to the explanations of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia, the political position of Kyiv regarding the state border of the state was displayed on the uniform of the Ukrainian national team during the European Football Championship 2020. In other words, Ukrainian athletes and fans used symbols that touched on conflict-prone political topics, broadcasting the political views of the Ukrainian authorities through their behavior.

From the foregoing, it is obvious that the situation with the simultaneous removal of the Russian national team and national teams from international competitions and not depriving the RFU of membership is used as a dependence of Russian football functionaries, including for creating a protest mood among fans and undermining the authority of the Russian government.

Thus, we see a situation where international sports associations, following the directives of the leaders of the countries of the Euro-Atlantic community, are actually creating an analogue of the infamous Black Lives Matter movement. Widespread coverage of such “charitable” events, multiplied by the consolidation of the sports community, has a serious impact on the formation of anti-Russian views and further fuels Russophobia in the European community, forming a one-sided picture in relation to the Russian military special operation in Ukraine.

Igor Mukhin, especially for News Front

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