Ukraine, from the European 5-a-side football semi-final to the Beijing Olympics: the crisis between Moscow and Kiev also risks contaminating sport
There are cases where he sport he became an ambassador for peace and others in which competitive matches anticipated much bloodier events. Among the first, it is impossible not to remember the historic table tennis match between United States And China in Beijing in 1971, which represented the first “diplomatic” approach between the two countries after more than two decades of “very cold” war. Instead, what happened in 1990 went in the opposite direction Maksimir Stadium from Zagreb, when Zvonimir Boban, who in the years to come became an icon of the Milanese midfielder, launched a hit a policeman (pro-Serbian) who beat a Croatian fan in one of the very hot derbies between Dynamo and the Red Star. Other times, of course, and other auspices thinking of February 4 game at amsterdam, when have European 5-a-side football championships they will play in the semi-finals Russia And Ukraine. The two countries, for the moment, face each other flexing their muscles: Putin’s army deploying more than 100,000 men on the border, Kyiv through the military aid which come copiously from United States, Britain and other European states.
However, both have been watching the Dutch challenge with concern and for days, since the Ukrainian national team qualified by beating the Kazakhstan, they began to exchange mutual accusations. The Duma of Moscow alerted its delegation, denouncing the risk of provocation before, during and after the semi-final. “Hostile acts are possible”, said the chairman of the State Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, Dmitry Svishchev. And it wouldn’t be the first time, the Moscow representative thundered, “given that we recently witnessed the russophobia of the public of melbourne, who in the final of australian open not so applauded for Nadal, how much against ours Medvedev. This anti-Russian sentiment has reached sport in all its meanings, ”concluded Svishchev. Accusations that the Kiev press returns to the sender, recalling the behavior of the number two tennis player in the ATP ranking who five days ago, in the semi-finals against Tsitsipas, openly called the “stupid” and “chicken” to the chair judge. The Duma parliamentarian expressed hope that Euro 2022 organizers will guarantee the safety and security of his national team. “There will probably be acts of provocation in Amsterdam. I really hope they will be able to maintain order”.
This way? Not at all. If Moscow asks for the protection of its football representatives in the Netherlands, Kiev instead issues the edict to its flag bearers who left for the Beijing Olympics: no fraternity with Russian “colleagues”. To say that it is not a second-rate representative, but the Minister of Sports himself, Vadym Gutzayt“We recommended athletes to don’t take pictures with russians during the Games to avoid the provocations that have already occurred in the past. Eight years of war cannot be undone and we cannot forget the worsening of the situation on our borders. Therefore, it is very important that our athletes control their emotions.” Not only. At the 2018 Olympic freestyle champion in Pyeongchang, the Ukrainian Alexander Abramenko, who said he felt free to stand on the podium with opponents from across the border, the Minister replied categorically: “I do not agree with your position at all. I can’t force it but only recommend it. Many of our young soldiers continue to die in Donbass and I would find it inconceivable to celebrate victory with the Russian athletes. This is the country we are at war with, not to celebrate.”