Russia and Belarus should be banned from hosting international sporting events

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A cardboard cut-out caricature of Russian President Vladimir Putin portrayed as Adolf Hitler is seen during a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in front of the Russian Embassy in Kappara, Malta, March 8, 2022. Reuters

Russia and Belarus should not be allowed to host, bid for, or be awarded international sporting events following the invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its allies said in a statement released by the Department of American State.

The statement calls on international sports federations to limit sponsorship opportunities for companies linked to the Russian and Belarusian governments.

The statement was signed by officials from 37 countries, including the UK, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Belgium and the United States. China, India and countries in Latin America and Africa were not listed as participants in the declaration.

The statement urged the international sports community to show “solidarity with the Ukrainian people”.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February drew widespread international condemnation. Belarus has been a key staging area for Russian forces.

Moscow calls its activity a “special operation” which it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy the military capabilities of its southern neighbour.

World and European football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA have banned the Russian national team and clubs from participating in international competitions until further notice.

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