April 1, 2023

Ukrainian Fencers Withdraw To Avoid Playing Russia

3 min read

The round of 16 match between Ukraine and Russia was supposed to go place, but the Ukrainian fencers pulled out of the contest minutes before it was to begin in order to protest the Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian fencing team decided to withdraw from the World Cup competition that is now taking place in Egypt so that they would not have to compete against Russia on Sunday. The round of 16 match between Ukraine and Russia was supposed to go place, however the Ukrainian fencers pulled out of the event minutes before it was to begin in order to protest the invasion of their homeland by Russia. The Ukrainian squad gave the match officials an explanation of their decision before issuing an apology and departing the playing field.

According to the officials of the competition, the fencers from Ukraine informed them that they are unable to take part in the competition as long as their families and country are in danger. Before leaving the Cairo International Stadium, the Ukrainian fencers were seen waving banners that said “Stop the war, preserve Ukraine.” They were met with a rousing round of applause from the crowd, including from their Russian competitors. Also worth noting is the fact that Alisher Usmanov, a Russian tycoon with ties to Vladimir Putin, serves as the current president of the International Fencing Federation (IFC).

It is not the first time that a sporting event has been disrupted as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Football Association of England has made the decision to exclude Russia from any and all international competitions for the foreseeable future. Earlier, UEFA decided to shift the final of the Champions League in 2022 from Russia to another country. In May of this year, the conclusion of the Champions League was scheduled to take place in Saint Petersburg. The Russian Grand Prix of Formula One has been canceled, and the International Chess Federation has decided to cancel all of its tournaments scheduled to take place in Russia.

During their game against one another in the Europa League early last week, players from Barcelona and Napoli each held up a banner that said “Stop War.” During their play in the Europa League versus Sevilla, fans of the Croatian football team Dinamo Zagreb held up a placard that said, “Support to the people of Ukraine.” During their encounter in the Europa League against Celtic, the supporters of the Norwegian team Bodo/Glimt demonstrated their sympathy with Ukraine by hoisting the flag of the country they were rooting for.

Russia-Ukraine War

The military intervention in the country was initiated by Russia in the early hours of February 24. On the first day of the invasion, the Russian military used land, air, and sea to advance into its neighboring country, Ukraine, and bombed several important Ukrainian security institutions. More than 600 civilians, including volunteer forces, have reportedly been killed thus far in the fighting, according to the Ukrainian government; however, the number of casualties on the Russian side is unknown at this time.

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