Russian Foreign Ministry: IOC's Call to Boycott Friendship Games Reflects Racism

20 March

Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian MFA, criticized the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) urging of countries and athletes to boycott the Friendship Games, asserting that it demonstrates the committee's deviation from its principles towards racism. Speaking at a briefing, Zakharova condemned the IOC's stance as "absolutely inadmissible," likening it to decisions rooted in racial discrimination.


"The statement issued by the International Olympic Committee, directly urging athletes and nations to refrain from participating in the 'World Friendship Games,' is not only highly politicized but aligns itself with decisions backed by racial discrimination," - the diplomat remarked. - "These actions underscore the significant deviation of the International Olympic Committee from its stated principles in favor of political expediency, sliding towards racism and neo-Nazism."


Zakharova dismissed allegations against Russia of politicizing sports and pressuring other countries and athletes as "completely baseless" and characterized them as disinformation and falsehoods. "Russia advocates for sports collaboration with all nations based on principles of equality and non-discrimination, in line with the ethos and principles of Olympism... We advocate for honest, equitable competitions," she affirmed.


Highlighting Russia's commitment to combating discrimination in sports and advocating for equal opportunities for all athletes, Zakharova declared that the Friendship Games, epitomizing true Olympic ideals, will stand as a symbol of friendship, openness, sporting fraternity, equality, and justice. She extended an invitation to all athletes and sports organizations to participate in this genuine celebration of sport.


Scheduled from September 15 to 29, 2024, the Friendship Games will take place in Moscow and Yekaterinburg.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on materials from TASS