Here’s how the sports world reacted to the invasion of Ukraine


Topline

FIFA announced several measures against the Russian national soccer team on Sunday ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers, though it has yet to confirm the team’s full ban despite several European teams have said they refuse to play against the Russians – the latest complication stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into the sports world.

Highlights

FIFA condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, saying in a statement, “Violence is never a solution” before announcing that it would not hold any international competitions in Russia, forcing the team to play on neutral territories without spectators.

FIFA also said the Russian national team had to play under the name “Russian Football Union (RFU)” rather than “Russia”, and could not fly a Russian flag or play the Russian anthem during matches. matches.

The announcement comes as England announced on Sunday that they would join Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic in refusing to play against the Russian national team to ‘unreservedly condemn the atrocities committed by the Russian leadership’, according to Reuters.

The NHL, which includes by far the most Russian and Ukrainian athletes of the four major US sports leagues, has yet to issue an official statement on the dispute, although several players have expressed their opinion.

“Please no more war,” Russian Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the past, said at a press conference on Friday, adding that Putin is ” my president” and that the war is “a difficult situation at the moment for both parties.

In response to Ovechkin’s statement, Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek tweeted in outrage, calling him “chicken shit” and calling Putin a “crazy killer” before demanding that the NHL suspend the contracts of all Russian players.

crucial quote

“Each athlete not only represents themselves and their club, but also their country, their values ​​and their actions,” Hasek tweeted. “It’s a fact. If the NHL doesn’t [suspend contracts for all Russian players]he has indirect co-responsibility for the deaths in Ukraine.

Key context

On Friday, Russian tennis star Andrey Rublev wrote “No War Please” on a TV camera lens after a semi-final victory in Dubai. On Thursday, Ukrainian NBA players Alex Len and Svi Mykhailiuk posted a joint declaration about the invasion, calling it a “great tragedy”. Len’s Sacramento Kings and opposing Indiana Pacers hugged for a moment of silence before their game on Thursday. Some American basketball players who play in Ukraine, including Michael Stockton, son of Utah Jazz Hall of Fame point guard John Stockton, fled the country before the invasion began, according to USA today. On Friday, Formula 1 announced it would not stage the Russian Grand Prix, saying it hoped for “a quick and peaceful resolution to the current situation”. The day before, the International Olympic Committee had condemned the Russian invasion, calling it a “violation of the Olympic truce”. The broken agreement is non-binding, meaning Russian Olympic athletes will not face any consequences. Earlier in the week, various sports teams in Europe and the United States cut ties with Russian sponsors in a bid to distance themselves from the dispute.

Surprising fact

The International Judo Federation announced on Sunday that it would suspend Putin as honorary president and ambassador in light of the Russian invasion. Putin is a black belt and co-wrote a book called “Judo: History, Theory, Practice”.

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