13 countries join UESF in condemning the return of Russians to the international esports community

Сергій Таран

The esports federations of Ukraine and 13 other IESF member countries issued a joint statement opposing the IESF's decision to return the Russians' ability to fly their flag and anthem at tournaments.

Joint statement of the Federations

30 aug 2023 - Esports federations from multiple countries vehemently condemn the International Esports Federation's (IESF) decision, made at its recent Ordinary General Meeting (OGM), to lift all sanctions and restrictions against the Russian Esports Federation. This controversial action disregards the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, by the Russian state and with its Esport Federation, as an active participant.

During the OGM, the Swedish president stated, "The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian state is happening, in the home of esports players, that has not changed. Instead we recently learned that the Russian esport federation actively participate in the invasion by opening esports branches within the occupied areas of Ukraine, forcing the Ukrainian esports federation to withdraw from their own territory.” 

The decision, which passed with 32 votes in favor, 13 against and 25 abstaining, means that Russian esports athletes can now openly represent their country, proudly display their flag and even have their national anthem played at the World Championship tournament and other IESF-sanctioned events. This decision is not only irresponsible but also deeply disrespectful to Ukraine and to the international community that values justice and ethical conduct.

In this joint press release, we announce our collective intention to explore avenues for overturning this abhorrent decision. At the very least, we demand that the IESF adhere to the recommendations, set forth by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee. 

We collectively strive to foster international esports in alignment with shared values of respect, fairness and global unity. This decision, which is inconsistent with these core principles, forces us to reassess our engagement and participation within the IESF. We will not stand idle as a decision that supports division and disrespect tarnishes the esports community. We will always vote for peace, not for networking or power purposes.

For our part, we will take serious and deliberate action to rectify this situation and uphold the values that we cherish. We call upon all member federations and esports enthusiasts to voice their opposition to this reprehensible decision and to stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

  • Armenian Esports Federation
  • Belgian Esports Federation
  • Canada Esports Federation
  • Dutch Esports Federation
  • Esports Wales
  • Finnish Esports Federation
  • French federation of Video games
  • Icelandic Esports Association
  • Lithuanian Electronic Sports Association
  • Luxemburg Esports Federation
  • Malta Esports Association
  • Norwegian Esports Federation
  • Swedish Esports Federation
  • Ukrainian Esports Federation
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