Russia loses another global sporting showpiece

The Volleyball Men’s World Championship was due to be held in Russia later this year

Russia will not host the 2022 Volleyball Men’s World Championship, officials at international governing body FIVE have announced.

Russia was due to host the showpiece from August 26 to September 11 later this year at 11 venues in 10 host cities across the country.

FIVE announced the step in a statement on Tuesday, citing Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. 

“The FIVE Board of Administration has come to the conclusion that it would be impossible to prepare and stage the World Championships in Russia due to the war in Ukraine,” the announcement added.

FIVE added that the Russian Volleyball Federation and local organizing officials had been informed.

No new venue for the event was announced, with FIVE instead saying it would “seek an alternative host nation(s) to ensure that the global volleyball family… all feel safe and proud to participate in a joyous and peaceful festival of sport.”

The move was widely expected after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended on Monday that Russia and Belarus be denied the right to host international tournaments, and that athletes from the two countries not be invited to be compete across all sports at global events, even under neutral status.

Elsewhere, football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA have suspended all Russian teams from their competitions “until further notice.”

Russian officials have reacted with dismay to the raft of sporting sanctions, calling them overtly politicized and even discriminatory

Russia launched a special military operation in the newly-recognized Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk last week. Forces have also entered Ukraine in what Russian President Vladimir Putin described as an operation to “demilitarize” and “de-Nazify” the country.  

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