“Athletes are not responsible for the actions of their leaders”, says former President François Hollande

A former president can say that. Headliner of the day “Demain le sport”, organized jointly by France Télévisions, Radio France and the newspaper The TeamThursday September 22, to initiate a reflection on the future of sport, François Hollande intervened on the subject of diplomacy and sport. The former head of state (between 2012 and 2017) returned to the weight of the latter in international affairs, referring in particular to the specific case of Russia.

franceinfo: sport: since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia has suffered numerous international sanctions, particularly in sport. Can they have a real effect?

Francois Hollande : Sanctions, in general, have an influence and impact on the behavior of a number of countries. Russia pretends to be indifferent, when in reality it has suffered them painfully, especially on the economic level.

“Vladimir Putin is very sensitive to everything related to the organization of major competitions or Russia’s participation in sporting events.”

François Hollande, former President of the Republic

at franceinfo: sport

So yes, sporting sanctions are part of the decisions that must be taken and pronounced, because when a country attacks another, invades it, and commits war crimes, it is difficult to welcome it with its flag in major sporting competitions.

For the moment, it is the Russian athletes who are paying the high price, since they have been banned from many competitions…

Yes, that’s why it will probably be necessary to provide invitation cards for these athletes, so that they can come to these competitions, and thus not be prevented from winning medals, titles, even though their country is banned from the competition.

They are not responsible for the actions of their leaders. It is very unfair to prevent them from going to sports competitions. They are not political actors themselves, but sport is.

In 2022, Beijing hosted the Winter Olympics and Qatar is preparing to host the World Cup, two countries that are not known for preserving the environment and respecting human rights. Should we pay much more attention to the choice of host countries during international competitions?

Of course you have to look at the places where the big competitions take place so that it is in completely respectable and respectful conditions. Nevertheless, we must be very careful that this is not confiscated by the most developed countries, which say that they can ensure, in terms of equipment, safety and ecology, the organization of competition.

It is important that Africa, the countries of Asia and Latin America, can continue to receive the organization of competition. So that’s why it’s important, when an organizing country is chosen, to help it respect all the conditions that precisely allow it to have concern for the environment and human rights.

Source: www.francetvinfo.fr

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