Poland’s sport and tourism minister Kamil Bortniczuk has said that nearly 40 countries could boycott the Paris Olympics to make the holding of the Games “pointless".
Bortniczuk said he believed it would be possible to build a coalition of 40 countries, including Great Britain, the United States and Canada, to support a block on the IOC’s plans before a meeting on 10 February, BBC reported.
“Considering this I don’t think we will face tough decisions before the Olympics and, if we were to boycott the Games, the coalition we will be a part of will be broad enough to make holding the Games pointless," he added:
Last week, the IOC announced it would “explore a pathway" to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete in Paris under a neutral flag, citing that “no athlete should be prevented from competing just because of their passport".
As a result, Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Paris Olympic Games if such things happen.
On Thursday, Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania — and Poland jointly condemned the IOC’s call for allowing athletes of the aggressor countries, Russia and Belarus, into international competitions saying that it will legitimise and distract attention from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
The sports ministers from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland said that “allowing Russians and Belarusians to return to the international competitions could also put athletes in a difficult position and under extra pressure by competing against Russians and Belarusians or facing them and their supporters at sports events."
“Efforts to return Russian and Belarusian athletes to international sports competitions under the veil of neutrality legitimize political decisions and widespread propaganda of these countries also through the use of sport as a distraction from the illegal aggression against Ukraine," the statement read.
In a question-and-answer document published on Thursday, the IOC said “threatening a boycott of the Olympic Games goes against the fundamentals of the Olympic Movement. The boycotts did not achieve their political ends and served only to punish the athletes of the boycotting NOCs."
Read all the Latest Sports News here(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - IANS)