FINA Condemns “All Acts Of Aggression” And Pledges To Provide Support For Aquatic Family

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

FINA has condemned “all acts of aggression and is extremely concerned by the escalation of conflict in Ukraine” following the military invasion by Russia.

They have also cancelled Russia v Greece in the men’s Water Polo World League scheduled for 8 March and the Artistic Swimming and Diving World Series on 8-10 April.

Kazan, Russia, is set to host the World Junior Championships in August with the FINA World Short-Course Championships scheduled for the same city from 17-22 December, the start date being notable as the day after Russia’s ban on hosting global sports events expires.

However, FINA has not yet cancelled or relocated those events and it is unclear when they will make a decision which is at odds with other sporting federations.

The Formula One Grand Prix scheduled for September in Sochi has already been cancelled while football’s Champions League final has been switched from St Petersburg to Paris.

UEFA – Europe’s football governing body – has said that Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams in UEFA competitions will have to play at neutral venues until further notice.

The world governing body’s statement follows the expression of “strong solidarity and support” by European federation LEN.

The IOC has also called on international federations to cancel or relocate sports events that are currently being held or scheduled to be hosted in Russia or Belarus.

The statement by FINA said:

“While continuing to hold the view that sport should remain politically neutral, FINA condemns all acts of aggression and is extremely concerned by the escalation of conflict in Ukraine.

“All athletes, including those preparing for the 19th FINA World Championships Budapest 2022, deserve to feel safe in their training and competitive environment, and importantly, to be heard.

“Following consultation with many athletes, in addition to National Federations and concerned members of the FINA Family, the forthcoming FINA Men’s Water Polo World League game (RUS v GRE) will no longer take place as scheduled in St. Petersburg (8 March).

“Furthermore, the cluster event of FINA Artistic Swimming and Diving World Series in Kazan will be cancelled (8-10 April).

“Where alternative arrangements can be made for these events, they will be communicated as soon as possible.

“Other FINA events that are scheduled in Russia for later in the year are under close review, with FINA monitoring events in Ukraine very carefully.

“FINA pledges to provide whatever practical support it can give to any member of our Aquatic family impacted by this situation.”

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