HomeInsightsUK and 36 other countries sign Statement on Russia’s war on Ukraine and international sport

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The statement states that Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war of choice against Ukraine, enabled by the Belarusian government, is abhorrent and a flagrant breach of its international obligations. Respect for human rights and peaceful relations between nations form the foundation of international sport.

The signatories state that, as a collective of like-minded nations, they support the position of international sport organisations that:

  • Russia and Belarus should not be permitted to host, bid for or be awarded any international sporting events;
  • individual athletes selected by Russia and Belarus, administrators and teams representing the Russian or Belarusian state should be banned from competing in other countries, including those representing bodies, cities or brands that are effectively representing Russia or Belarus, such as major football clubs; and
  • wherever possible, appropriate actions should be taken to limit sponsorship and other financial support from entities with links to the Russian or Belarusian states.

The signatories call on all international sport federations to endorse these principles and applaud all those that have done so already. They also welcome the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to prevent Russia’s and Belarus’ athletes from competing in the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing, and state that these restrictions should be in place until cooperation under the fundamental principles of international law has become possible again.

The signatories encourage all international sport organisations and all relevant legal bodies not to sanction athletes, coaches or officials who decide unilaterally to terminate their contracts with Russian, Belarusian or Ukrainian clubs, as well as not to pursue or to sanction sport organisers who decide to ban athletes or teams selected by Russia or Belarus.

Further, the signatories encourage the international sport community to continue to show its solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including through supporting the continuation of Ukrainian sport where possible. To read the statement in full, click here.