Putin Wants Sports Events Back In Russia

There is a global sports boycott of Russia.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin wants international sports events in his country. The International Ice Hockey Federation pulled its 2023 Men’s World Championship out of St. Petersburg because Russia invaded Ukraine in February which started a sports boycott not only of Russia but also Belarus. St Petersburg had been awarded the IIHF Men’s World Championship in 2019. Russia and Belarus were banned from the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics right after Russia started its war with Ukraine. The International Olympic Committee has told global International Federations to avoid scheduling events in Russia or in Belarus.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the governing body of European soccer matches, UEFA, pulled the Champions League final out of St. Petersburg. The final will now be played on May 28th in Paris, France. UEFA told Russian and Ukrainian clubs competing in UEFA-sponsored games in the Champions League, the Europa League and the Conference League that the teams would have to play home matches at neutral venues “until further notice”. A German soccer team removed the Gazprom logo from their jerseys. Gazprom is the Russian owned gas company. Four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel said he would  not take part in a Grand Prix race in Sochi, Russia on September 25th. Formula One has stripped Russia of racing events for the foreseeable future. According to the Russian news agency TASS, Putin said, “there are no unfriendly countries for Russia. We welcome everyone standing for the sports without discrimination and artificial boundaries. We speak for the ideals of the sports including justice, equality and fair competitions.” Russians will not be playing tennis at Wimbledon this summer in London. The NHL has a Russian problem. If NHL Russian players go home this summer, will they come back this fall?

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