Russia, which is excluded from the sports world, prepares its reaction

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He could believe the invitation presented by Oleg Matytsin a few days ago in an interview with Russian sports newspapers. Soviet sport and Sports Express. The Minister of Sports of Russia invited the countries friend Russia is in great competition.

Next July we will hold the Russian Universiade, the National University Games. when we talk about friendly countries, we can logically think of Belarus and China, or ex-Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan. This invitation by Russia appears to be a direct response to the sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international federations.

Minister Matytsin’s gesture is far from insignificant when we look back at history a bit. Radio-Canada Sports spoke to Jean Lévesque, professor of history at the University of Quebec in Montreal, about it.

In 1922, the USSR placed sport at the center of communist ideology. Next we want to show a new Soviet man. In 1928, the USSR wanted to separate itself from the Olympic movement, which was considered too bourgeois and capitalist, and created its own Games, Spartakiades.

It is said that this name was chosen to remember the story of the famous slave Spartacus, who rebelled against the Roman Republic. It was then, therefore, that we wanted, as Jean Lévesque explained, to move away from bourgeois sport and talk above all about sport in connection with public health.

1924, on va créer l’Internationale du sport rouge pour aller à l’encontre du sport capitaliste, sans valeurs bourgeoises, explique M.Lévesque. À l’époque, les Soviétiques ne sont pas vraiment dans l’esprit de compétition internationale. Ils sont plus dans l’esprit de la santé publique en offrant un modèle sain à la population. Ils vont donc décider de compétitionner entre “camarades”. Cette affiliation à l’Internationale du sport rouge va permettre un autre modèle. On va donc organiser les premières Spartakiades à Moscou, où les communistes de tous les pays vont pouvoir y participer.”,”text”:”En1924, on va créer l’Internationale du sport rouge pour aller à l’encontre du sport capitaliste, sans valeurs bourgeoises, explique M.Lévesque. À l’époque, les Soviétiques ne sont pas vraiment dans l’esprit de compétition internationale. Ils sont plus dans l’esprit de la santé publique en offrant un modèle sain à la population. Ils vont donc décider de compétitionner entre “camarades”. Cette affiliation à l’Internationale du sport rouge va permettre un autre modèle. On va donc organiser les premières Spartakiades à Moscou, où les communistes de tous les pays vont pouvoir y participer.”}}”>In 1924, he explains, we will create the Internationale du sport rouge to oppose capitalist sport without bourgeois values. Back then, the Soviets really didn’t have the spirit of international competition. They have more of a public health spirit by presenting a healthy model to the population. Therefore, they will decide to compete among “comrades”. This relationship with Red Sport International will allow for another model. Therefore, we will organize the first Spartakiads in Moscow, in which communists from all countries can participate.

Thus, the invitation of the Minister of Sports of Russia to the countries friend A response to the IOC and international federations? According to Jean Lévesque yes and no.

In the medium or long term, Russians will want to reintegrate into the world sporting landscape. But they really are communication experts and sometimes you have to read between the lines of the messages they want to send. I have the impression that the Russians may be preparing to form a coalition with the BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in their decision to free the CIO from Western monopoly.

Lévesque. On pourrait donc assister à un groupe de pays “amis” qui pourrait faire front et changer les règles des grandes instances sportives internationales. Imaginez la puissance qu’aurait ce bloc, avec les Russes associés aux puissants Chinois, qui pourrait facilement contrecarrer l’influence traditionnelle des Occidentaux dans le mouvement olympique.”,”text”:”Ils vont aussi essayer de peser sur la réélection de Thomas Bach qui, jusqu’à l’invasion de l’Ukraine, avait été tendre avec les Russes, poursuit M.Lévesque. On pourrait donc assister à un groupe de pays “amis” qui pourrait faire front et changer les règles des grandes instances sportives internationales. Imaginez la puissance qu’aurait ce bloc, avec les Russes associés aux puissants Chinois, qui pourrait facilement contrecarrer l’influence traditionnelle des Occidentaux dans le mouvement olympique.”}}”>They will also try to influence the re-election of Thomas Bach, who was kind to the Russians until the invasion of Ukraine, continues Mr. Lévesque. Therefore, we may witness a group of “friendly” countries that can change the rules of major international sports organizations and stand up. Imagine the power this bloc would have with the Russians associated with the powerful Chinese who could easily overturn the traditional influence of the West in the Olympic movement.

A lecturer at the University of Nantes, Sylvain Dufraisse, joined by Radio-Canada Sports in France, agrees.

He underlines that the message of the Russian Minister of Sports is a message to international organizations that the exclusion or removal of Russians can lead to parallel organizations. With this message, we want to force negotiations with the IOC and international organizations to reconsider their decisions.

For Sylvain Dufraisse, invitation friendly countries It is less reminiscent of the 1928 Spartakiad than another major sporting event held during the boycott of the Los Angeles Games in the 1980s.

1980, à Moscou, pour organiser les “Jeux de l’amitié”, se souvient M.Dufraisse. Ces Jeux étaient une réponse à la non-participation aux Jeux de Los Angeles. On avait alors invité les États alliés – la République démocratique allemande, la Tchécoslovaquie, la Bulgarie, la Hongrie, la Pologne, le Vietnam –, mais on avait également rassemblé des athlètes d’Afghanistan, d’Argentine, d’Algérie et même de France.”,”text”:”En 1984, les Russes avaient utilisé les installations des Jeux olympiques de1980, à Moscou, pour organiser les “Jeux de l’amitié”, se souvient M.Dufraisse. Ces Jeux étaient une réponse à la non-participation aux Jeux de Los Angeles. On avait alors invité les États alliés – la République démocratique allemande, la Tchécoslovaquie, la Bulgarie, la Hongrie, la Pologne, le Vietnam –, mais on avait également rassemblé des athlètes d’Afghanistan, d’Argentine, d’Algérie et même de France.”}}”>He remembers that in 1984 the Russians used the facilities of the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow to hold the “Friendly Games”. These Games were a response to not participating in the Los Angeles Games. Then we invited allied countries – the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Vietnam – but also brought together athletes from Afghanistan, Argentina, Algeria and even France.

That’s why we see the same logical sequence here, he adds. When the Russians encounter an obstacle to participate, we will hasten to hold a parallel competition in response. For this reason, Russia maintains the old position of the Soviet Union. Therefore, in the movement of Oleg Matytsin we can see his desire to propose a new geography of the international sports world, relying on his allies.

But the IOC does not like this kind of conflict and has shown this throughout history. One of the IOC’s greatest tactics is to avoid any misbehavior that could harm it. We can therefore expect a way out of the crisis and a new compromise between the IOC and international federations to unite the world of sport once again under an apolitical flag. »

a quote Sylvain Dufraisse, lecturer at the University of Nantes

Russia seems unaware that the sports world has banned it and continues to act like nothing happened. He has recently applied for the organization of 2028 or 2032 Euro football. And as if that wasn’t enough, it would also consider applying to host the 2029 or 2031 World Handball Championships in partnership with China.

Much like this, if Russia does not prepare a response.