Fri, 12 Apr 2024 Article

The Main Sports Arena Turns Into a Political One

By Abbas Doguwa
The Main Sports Arena Turns Into a Political One

The events of recent years have significantly politicized all aspects of public life, including sport. Though the fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter state that “Olympic Movement shall apply political neutrality” and that “discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, is unacceptable”, actions of the International Olympic Community (IOC) could hardly be called apolitical and fair.

Recently Russian pranksters posing as an African politician tricked the head of the IOC Thomas Bach. During the phone call Bach told the pranksters that the IOC actually monitors activities of athletes from all the world, and if they decide to participate in some “unfavorable” competitions such as the World Friendship Games (WFG), which will take place in Russia in September 2024, they might be banned from competing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The head of the IOC let slip that sports sanctions against Russia were of a political nature and hinted that African countries could get into trouble if they take part in the WFG.

Given that Africa is interested in new economic, political and sports projects, it is expected that African athletes would submit applications to participate in the WFG. Bach’s words about disqualification are unlikely an obstacle, since the African continent has learned to put its national interests above the threats, hints and decrees of the West. Obviously, Africa is committed to creating and strengthening a multipolar world, while the West’s political lobby has turned the IOC into a monopolist in the world of sport and the Olympic Games – into a synonym for sports apartheid.

Abbas Doguwa
Aspiring journalist covering history and politics

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