Should it take a war to show that sport and politics are forever linked? | Jonathan Liew

For years, Big Sport has said they should be kept separate. Now, events in Ukraine have shown that it was wrong‘Happy Thursday everyone!” the official Uefa Europa League account tweeted on the morning of 24 February, looking ahead to another crucial round of matches in Europe’s second most prestigious men’s football competition. Alas, not everyone was in quite as festive a mood. For, just a few hours earlier, Russian artillery had moved into Ukraine bringing up the curtain on a bloody and avoidable war in mainland Europe.It’s easy to forget it now, amid the breathtaking speed with which the world of sport has closed ranks against Russia, but in the hours and days after the fighting started Uefa on Twitter was hardly the only sports authority to monumentally fail to read the room. For example, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) eventually banned Russia from the Paralympic Winter Games but only after first announcing an unsatisfactory compromise in which Russian athletes would have been allowed to compete in neutral colours. Fifa only kicked the Russians out of this year’s World Cup qualifying after other European teams made it clear they were not prepared to play them. Continue reading…For years, Big Sport has said they should be kept separate. Now, events in Ukraine have shown that it was wrong

‘Happy Thursday everyone!” the official Uefa Europa League account tweeted on the morning of 24 February, looking ahead to another crucial round of matches in Europe’s second most prestigious men’s football competition. Alas, not everyone was in quite as festive a mood. For, just a few hours earlier, Russian artillery had moved into Ukraine bringing up the curtain on a bloody and avoidable war in mainland Europe.

It’s easy to forget it now, amid the breathtaking speed with which the world of sport has closed ranks against Russia, but in the hours and days after the fighting started Uefa on Twitter was hardly the only sports authority to monumentally fail to read the room. For example, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) eventually banned Russia from the Paralympic Winter Games but only after first announcing an unsatisfactory compromise in which Russian athletes would have been allowed to compete in neutral colours. Fifa only kicked the Russians out of this year’s World Cup qualifying after other European teams made it clear they were not prepared to play them.

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *