By Le Figaro with AFP
The next European Games, organized in Poland at the end of June, will no longer serve as individual European Championships. A new competition will then be improvised in October.
As a result of the lifting of sanctions targeting Russian and Belarusian fencers, the European Games, organized in Poznan (Poland) from June 21 to July 2, will no longer serve as individual European Championships, according to the latest updated calendar of the International Federation of fencing (FIE). An individual European championship must therefore be improvised in October, according to a member of the executive committee.
The fencers of the two countries have not yet made their return to competition since the lifting at the end of March by the FIE of the generalized sanctions aimed at them. But a definitive list of those who meet the neutrality criteria, as recommended by the IOC, will be unveiled shortly, “within ten days», again according to a member of the FIE Executive Committee.
However, fears surrounding the possibility for these athletes to obtain an entry visa to Poland led the executive committee to remove its European Championship value from the individual competition of the European Games. The tournament will therefore not allocate the corresponding points in the race for Olympic qualification.
Unlike the team event – where Russians and Belarusians alike remain excluded – which will award the European title and the points that go with it.
The problem encountered by fencing is likely to arise for other sports. Among those present at the European Games, several others such as canoeing, shooting or table tennis have lifted the sanctions targeting Russians and Belarusians.
But Warsaw, a key supporter of kyiv, implemented travel restrictions last September as part of sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, for example, Russian tennis player Vitalia Diatchenko was refused access on board a flight of the Polish national airline (LOT) from Cairo to Nice via Warsaw. Restrictions apply until “airport crossings“.