The Ukrainian national team plans to boycott the upcoming 2022 IFMA Youth World Championships in Muay Thai due to the admission of Russian and Belarusian athletes.
The news was announced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, which released a statement explaining its decision and its unwavering demand for “complete isolation of Russians and Belarusians from world sports” following the invasion of Ukraine.
“Athletes of the aggressor countries were allowed to participate in the world championship among juniors and young men under the banner of the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations, despite the appeal of the Ukrainian Muay Thai Boxing Federation to exclude representatives of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus from participating in international sports events,” read the official statement on the ministry website.
“From the first days of the full-scale aggression, the Ukrainian Muay Thai Boxing Federation has been demanding the complete isolation of Russians and Belarusians from world sports and depriving their athletes of the right to participate in international competitions.”
Following the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the International Olympic Committee recommended that international sports federations ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from competing in international events using their national symbols, flags or anthems. However, it opted to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete as neutral athletes in the spirit of “fair competitions for everybody without any discrimination.”
In response to Russian athletes appearing as under neutral banners, the Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine announced that local athletes would boycott tournaments that allowed the participation of athletes from Russia or Belarus.
The 2022 IFMA Youth World Championships in Muay Thai, which takes place between Aug. 9-20 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, marked the latest example of such a boycott.
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