Today.Az » Politics » Azerbaijani athletes to withdraw from competitions in Yerevan
15 April 2023 [10:45] - Today.Az

A decision has been made to return Azerbaijani athletes from Yerevan, Azernews reports.

According to a joint statement of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Azerbaijan's National Olympic Committee, the flag of Azerbaijan was demonstratively burned by an officially accredited person at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championship in Yerevan on April 14.

The commission of such a barbaric act at the ceremony attended by Armenian Prime Minister and its approval by the Armenian public, and the description of the person who committed that act as a hero, is a clear example of ethnic hatred, racism, xenophobia, and Azerbaijanophobia in this country. It also completely contradicts the noble goals and principles of sports, which promote peace and mutual understanding between nations. The politicization of sports is absolutely unacceptable," the statement said.

The statement pointed out that due to psychological pressures in Armenia where such an atmosphere of hatred prevails and security is not ensured, normal participation of Azerbaijani athletes in competitions is impossible.

"Taking all this into account, a decision was made to return Azerbaijani athletes to their homeland. Armenia should ensure their safe return," the statement noted.

Furthermore, the Azerbaijani ministry and the Olympic committee called on the international community and international sports institutions to strongly condemn this barbaric act.

"We also call on the European Weightlifting Federation to impose sanctions against Armenia. We believe that this incident shows that Armenia is unable to hold international sports competitions and ensure the safety of athletes," the statement stressed.

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