Politicization of sporting events is a phenomenon contrary to the decisions adopted, in particular, by the UN, as well as bilateral and multilateral agreements among countries, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at the briefing, Trend reports on June 5.
Zakharova was answering a question about attempts to politicize the UEFA Europa League final match, which was held in Baku May 29.
“On the one hand, we have to get used to politicization in sports, but this doesn’t mean that we should agree with it,” she said. “Sport is aimed at uniting, not dissociation. I would like to remind that everything that came to us from antiquity, and the traditions that were restored in the 20th century, show that sports activities are designed to reduce tensions in conflicts, and even cease hostilities. It seems to me that this tradition should be revived first of all.”
However, this tradition didn’t take root in the practice of international relations, she said, adding that it would be good to resume the tradition of using major international sporting events to reduce tensions in conflicts or even end hostilities.
Regarding security issues, Zakharova said that she cannot call Baku a dangerous city.
“I enjoy coming to this city, I came there as an employee of the Foreign Ministry and at the same time I participated in some informal events, and I was shocked by the changes that took place in the capital of Azerbaijan over the past ten years,” she noted. “I speak regularly about this, so Baku is in my personal list of places I enjoy visiting.”
The UEFA Europa League final match between the English clubs Arsenal and Chelsea took place at the Baku Olympic Stadium on May 29.
The final match ended 4:1 in favor of Chelsea, with the team having won the 2018-2019 UEFA Europa League season.
The Baku Olympic Stadium, the number of seats in which was brought up to 70,000 in connection with the final match, updated the 20-year record in the history of the UEFA Europa League.
According to this indicator, the Baku Olympic Stadium became the biggest arena among the stadiums that hosted the final matches of the UEFA Europa League.