Russian sport – after the elimination to attack

The Ice Hockey World Championships will also be held without the stars of the Russian national team next year. (for example)

“We have never seen this in the history of sport, and that is why the term ‘tipping point’ applies here as well, where sports federations in all areas have imposed sanctions against Russia in a very uniform and coherent manner and put Russia under so much pressure to act like this now in the event of war between Russia and Ukraine,” analyzes Jürgen Mitag, professor of sports policy at the German Sports University in Cologne.

In ice hockey, which is perhaps the number one sport in Russia, the decision has already been taken not to allow “Spornaga”, that is, the national team after being excluded from this year’s World Cup, to participate in the World Cup next year. After the withdrawal from Saint Petersburg, it will take place again in Tampere, Finland, and Riga, the capital of Latvia. If you include the titles of the Soviet Union, Russia is also the record world champion along with Canada. The crackdown on international sports has created a lot of momentum in Russia.

“That put the Russian sports federations under a certain pressure, because there was no space to participate in any discussions, in any discussions or negotiating packages,” Maytag said.

Verbal attack on a Ukrainian tennis player

This is why journalists and officials are more aggressive in public. The President of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarbishov, attacked Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina after she called on her fellow Russians and Belarusians to speak out against the war in their country. “There is no reason to be interested in her. This is not only my opinion, but also the opinion of lawyers. We are currently playing, everything is fine for us. It would be foolish to respond. Who is Svitolina anyway? “Tarbyshev told the portal.

At the same time, Tarbishov praised the great players such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who spoke against the exclusion of the Russians from the prestigious tournament at Wimbledon: “The support of the great players is required. Our players and the Federation are grateful to all the players who have already defended the athletes who were not allowed to participate. “

Football players in the AFC?

Meanwhile, Russian football is considering switching its federation from the European Union to the Asian Confederation so that it can participate in the World Cup qualifying rounds there in the future. “I think the time has come to seriously think about moving to the Asian Football Confederation,” sports radio Match TV quoted former boxer and parliamentarian Dmitri Pirog. Former national player Andrei Kanchelskis also commented on the trend.

Even if the move was possible, it would in no way be profitable from a financial point of view. Others prefer to wait. The hope lies in the current networks, says Johannes Umüller of the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “Given the many very close and ambiguous links they have with money, staff and sporting events through certain organizations in recent years in related sports. It can still pay off. And after the first wave of apparent penalties – not as severe as they sometimes seem – one gradually returns to the sporting family as if nothing had happened.”

Football and ice hockey are prime examples of good connections. In football, Russia not only hosted the 2018 World Cup, but also has excellent contacts with UEFA through Gazprom. Despite all the sanctions, Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Gazprom Neft and president of the Russian Football Association, remains a member of the UEFA Executive Committee. In ice hockey, Russia has been closely associated with Rene Vassil, the long-time president of the International Ice Hockey Federation. His successor, Luke Tardive, may be taking a tougher stance at the moment, but the long-woven networks aren’t collapsing any time soon.

Journalist Umüller: Sanctions “collapse”

“At the same time, you can see how things are falling apart in different associations,” says Umüller. “There are certainly many sports in which Russian athletes are still active: tennis, cycling, boxing. And in other sports, this original ban is already beginning to wane. There was A decision in table tennis that the exclusion of Russian club teams from the Champions League is illegal. There was a decision on skating that led to the fact that Russian skaters were allowed to participate again. Therefore: it is not as solid as it sometimes seems.

Especially since Russian associations want to continue to take legal action against the exceptions in addition to their media offensive. In addition, in some sports, the sporting value of competitions decreases when, as in ice hockey or figure skating, a part of the best competitions in the world is suddenly missed. That is why Professor Jürgen Mitag sees a potential concession: “I suppose that on the part of Western countries and Western federations, there is more interest in engaging Russian athletes in the medium to long term.”

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