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it is, rather, not just because it's another bleedin U-turn, but because there seems to be no reason for it.  There's an (unconvincing) argeument for not allowing politics into sports, but to preach it at the last moment after having argued the opposite way just looks like another example of chaos at high levels

Ah, there's the mistake, imagining these people are high level.

They're just inadequates blundering about breaking the furniture and soiling themselves.

Will no-one save us?


It plays into Russia's belief that the west just caves in , given enough time. We show ourselves as weak, unable to stick to any principles.

Sport is nowhere near enough important enough to give in to tyrants who invade and subjucate another nation state

I think the UK gov is just acknowledging that the proposal to ban ruskies etc. won't happen. They didn't need to withdraw the objection. Shameful.

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I didn't know about this until I read Matthew Syed's searing article in the Times yesterday. Of course it wasn't exactly advertised.

One doesn't ask for a lot: one doesn't ask indeed for anything. But to actually write a letter of support...

On a lighter note, I see that the BBC hasn't room on its football fixture lists for the full "Football Union of Russia", it's just "Football Union ...".

Why not abbreviate it to "FU Russia" ...

I feel both 'let politics effect sport', and 'don't let politics effect sport', are valid positions to take. But flip flopping is unattractive in a government or a leader. But it seems to be the rule in politics these days. (From all political parties presumably, but it's the main ones we read about & note.) Genuine realisation that one is on the wrong track and must change tack, is fine. But those occasions where a change of direction is to be applauded should be rare if government is doing it's job well.

No, I think it is right that Russian sports people should not be punished for their loony president. There is a precident for competiting under the Olympic flag and that is the right thing here too.

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But you cannot separate these people from their "loony" president. These are not innocents in the midst of one crazed despot. Many of these people are members of the armed forces: international sportspeople whose success should it come will be used by Putin and the Russian state for propaganda purposes. It should not be forgotten that a huge number also are involved in state-sponsored drugs cheating, which is one reason, apart from the war, why Lord Coe, to his great credit, has banned their track and field athletes. And the mayor of Paris has repeatedly stated that Russian athletes will not be welcome in her city. These words should be backed up by actions.

The justification used by this hapless sports minister is that they will be competing under a "neutral flag": what nonsense.

I would however, make an exception for Belarusians, if it was up to me. I don't think they should be lumped in with their neighbours.

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"I feel both 'let politics effect sport', and 'don't let politics effect sport', are valid positions to take."

At that level OG, politics and sport are one and the same, especially if for what is effectively a totalitarian state. Ban a Russian parent from the school sportsday egg and spoon race? Of course not. This is a whole other matter though.

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