Sports Community Responds to Russian Invasion

By: Aryan Pandalai and Vishal Nayak

With the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, a number of international sports organizations have said they will boycott matchups with Russian teams.  Along with that, there have been growing calls to ban individuals from competitions.

Belarus, a Russian neighbor that has contributed to the Ukrainian invasion, has also faced calls to be banned.

The International Olympic Committee said Russia had breached the “Olympic Truce,” and recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes be barred from competitions.

“I think it is amazing the world is coming together to denounce Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, to see it expanding into society shows how unified people are across the world, even within Russia,” said economics teacher Dr. Forbes.

The organization also called to move or cancel any sporting events in the two countries.

FIFA, the global soccer governing body, and FIBA, which oversees international basketball, have said Russia will be banned from competing. FIFA’s move disqualifies the 2018 World Cup host from the 2022 World Cup. 

“Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine. Both Presidents hope that the situation in Ukraine will improve significantly and rapidly so that football can again be a vector for unity and peace amongst people,” FIFA said in a statement. 

The Union of European Football Associations announced it would move its scheduled Champions League final from Russia.

Besides FIFA and the IOC, some organizations have allowed Russian athletes to compete under a few circumstances.

“What’s different about these sporting organizations versus FINA, the international swimming organization, is that they allow Russian athletes to compete, but they do not get to represent their flag,” said Hudson Jang (‘24).

Essentially these organizations are making sure that Russia gets no glory from the efforts of their athletes due to the recent aggression towards Ukraine.

“I think that allowing these athletes to compete, but not allowing them to represent Russia is fair. These organizations have to understand that all these players are not in support of Putin’s actions, and they simply cannot denounce his actions because that would be putting these athletes at a great risk,” said Sam Sherman (‘23).

With the ongoing and increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, we can only observe how this tragic conflict will affect sports around the world.