Ugandan Sports Minister Slams Russia Ban as ‘Shameful’

Ugandan State Sports Minister Peter Ogwang. PHOTO/COURTESY

Ugandan State Sports Minister Peter Ogwang criticized the ban on Russia and Belarus from global sports as “shameful, discouraging, and cruel.” This ban was implemented following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended. Ogwang made these remarks during the Peace with Russia: New Formats of International Sports Cooperation panel discussion, as reported by the Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Ogwang emphasized that sports should transcend political barriers and be a unifying force. He condemned the suspension of Russian athletes, highlighting the impact on young athletes and describing it as “uncivilized” and counterproductive to the intended purpose of sports.

He argued that sports do not adhere to geopolitical language, race, or skin color. The IOC initially recommended an outright ban on Russia, but it later revised its stance, allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutrals on an individual basis, provided they did not support the war and were not associated with the military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also criticized the decision, calling it “ethnic discrimination” and “racist” at the same forum.

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