Russia and Belarus won’t participate in FEI events

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Following the FEI Executive Board decision to condemn the invasion of Ukraine and remove all equestrian events in Russia and Belarus, now they will also prohibit the participation of Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials in international events. 

With the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military forces the FEI Executive Board met and unanimously decided to cancel all events in Russia and Belarus. This includes all international equestrian events in Russia and Belarus in the 2022 FEI Calendar, in accordance with Articles 112.3 of the FEI General Regulations and 28.2 vi of the FEI Statutes. 

Moreover, they also freezed all FEI Solidarity and development activities and prohibited athletes, horses and officials from these two countries from participating in international events. 

Close contact with Ukraine

FEI President and Chair of the FEI Solidarity Committee, Ingmar De Vos (BEL), is in close contact with the National FEderation of Ukraine and the Ukrainian equestrian community. 

“We are deeply concerned for the welfare of all Ukrainians and the entire equestrian community in Ukraine. Their safety is very much our priority, and we are liaising closely with our key contacts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to seek solutions to their most pressing needs.”

The FEI is putting its efforts in helping athletes from the impacted countries at the time it condemns all actions from Russia and Belarus. The special military force sent by Vladimir Putin started after Russia officially recognised the two self-proclaimed separatist states in the Donbas, sending troops to this territory. On the 24th of February, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

Complete ban on Russia and Belarus

After the decision to cancel Russian and Belarusian events, the FEI Board announced recently an Emergency Board Resolution. This will prohibit the participation of all Russian and Belarusian Athletes, Horses and Officials in international events. 

This is effective until further notice and it means they will not be able to participate in FEI Events under the FEI flag and/or in a neutral capacity. The prohibition comes into effect on midnight (CET) on Sunday 6th of March 2022. 

Moreover, the Russian or Belarusian flags will cease to be displayed, or their anthems to be played at FEI Events. 

“It is regrettable that the FEI has needed to take such severe measures, but we need to ensure the safety, integrity and fairness of FEI Competitions during these difficult times. We sincerely hope that a peaceful solution can be found as soon as possible.” -FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

Article 20.3. of the FEI Statutes states:

In an Emergency Situation the Board may, by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast, pass Resolutions which are normally the prerogatives of the General Assembly. In such cases, the National Federations shall be notified promptly of these measures. If a majority of the National Federations eligible to vote, responding within thirty (30) days of the date of the notice, signifies its disapproval, the measure shall be rescinded if possible.

Besides equestrian sports, other sports have banned and suspended these countries from international events. Athletics, sailing or kayaking are some of the sports that have banned all athletes, support personnel and officials from Russia and Belarus for the foreseeable future with immediate effect

Images from the FEI
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