Vital Rymasheuski: Dictators use sport for their dirty purposes
The West still has time to cancel the Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk and show its real political values.
Vital Rymasheuski, a co-head of the organising committee to create the Belarusian Christian Democracy party (BCD), spoke to charter97.org about MEP Migalski’s proposal to return to the question of canceling the championship in Minsk.
“Of course, such sporting events in authoritarian countries promote and strengthen dictatorial regimes. In this particular case, the regimes of Putin and Lukashenka. Unfortunately, despite the declarations of the International Ice Hockey Federation, the International Olympic Committee and so on, these and others sporting associations became a tool for earning hue money and advertising, and western politicians, in fact, lost control over today’s sport.
Sport is often used for dirty purposes. Though international sporting organisations claim their non-involvement in politics, de facto, they help spreading authoritarianism and dictatorships across the world by taking decisions on holding games and championships in such countries. They are accomplices in human rights abuses. It also concerns beating of fans, who came to support their team with national symbols,” he noted.
The politician thinks the IIHF is unlikely to cancel the championship in Belarus, but there’s still time to influence hockey teams.
“The cancellation of the championship would hit Lukashenka’s reputation strongly. It would be a signal for Minsk and, partially, for Moscow that the West has rather serious intentions regarding the struggle for democracy in our countries. Today’s occupation of a part of Ukraine is a challenge for the European community’s abilities to struggle for democracy and safety of their citizens. The war in Ukraine is a war on the EU borders. The behaviour of European politicians will show the values prevailing in the EU politics,” Vital Rymasheuski is confident.
Member of the European Parliament Marek Migalski said the issue of cancellation of the ice hockey championship in Minsk should be reviewed.
“Today, as Ukraine is on the threshold of a war, and Vladimir Putin sends troops to Crimea, the issue of cancelling the IIHF World Championship in Minsk should be once again reconsidered,” he said.