How sad is it that it has come to this. The cancel culture has invaded sports and I can’t say it wasn’t coming. The hate speech and xenophobic speech that was being uttered by both sides of the Russia-Ukraine conflict was bound to force the hand of the various global sporting governing bodies. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Russia acted responsibly in attacking Ukraine. I am saying collective punishment based on religion, country of origin, sexual orientation among others is against the IOC framework for anti-discrimination. So in other words the IOC is going against the very laws that they made. In doing so bodies such as IOC, FIFA are setting a very bad precedence. In banning Russia from the Olympics and World Cup they exhibiting traits of hypocrisy. In the past they have turned a blind eye on war and have admitted war instigating countries(countries we all know) into competitions on the basis of zero tolerance on politics and sports. In fact just last week FIFA has banned various countries for government interference. These countries are Zimbabwe and Kenya.
Let me be blunt here. I am against the BAN on Russia and Belarus from sports on the basis of that it is punishing the very people who have nothing to do with the war and leaving the ones who are. It not only affects the athletes who have trained and done so much for sports in recent years, but it also makes them turn their support towards the despots that the governing bodies are trying to turn them against. It creates a them against us type of situation and it is not good for sports at all. In fact it causes some athletes to form breakaway bodies. What FIFA should have done is say all countries that boycott the matches with Russia forfeit their chance at going to Qatar in December. Now it may cause uproar or risk the big countries not competing in the world cup but FIFA would have taken a stand on their own beliefs. Remember it is not the first time England refused to play a world cup. In the inaugural world cup in 1930 and 1934 in Italy, England didn’t play in it for reasons best known to themselves but the world moved on. So sacred cows do not exist in the world of sports.