The Malta Boxing Federation has taken a strong stance over the Russian invasion of the Ukraine as the local governing body announced that it would not participate in fights or championships that will be held in Russia or Belarus.
“In the light of the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia and Belarus, the Malta Boxing Federation must make its position clear,” the Malta Boxing Federation said in a statement.
“The MBF stands with the people of the Ukraine. We stand with the Klitschko Brothers, we stand with Oleksandr Usyk, we stand with Vasiliy Lomachenko. Until the global situation is resolved our Federation will be boycotting any and all events involving Russia or Belarus.”
The Malta Boxing Federation enjoys a great relationship with the Klitschko brothers.
A few years ago Vladimir Klitschko travelled to Malta for a short holiday during which he spent a few hours training with Maltese boxers in the federation’s gym.
Vitali Klitschko, on the other hand, is the mayor of Kiev and has taken a starring role in the city’s fight to ward off Russian troops.
The Malta Boxing Federation’s position reflects the actions of several governing bodies around the world as well as Ukrainian athletes who have called for the suspension of Russian and Bielorussian athletes from international competitions.
The International Olympic Committee urges sports federations and organisers to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from international events.
Ukrainian tennis star Elena Svitolina on Monday announced that she would refuse to play Russian and Belarusian tennis players in tournaments.
Svitolina pulled out of the Monterrey tournament where she was due to face Russian player Anastasia Potapova in the first round.
“I want to announce that I will not play in Monterrey, nor any other match, against Russian or Belarusian tennis players until our organizations take the necessary actions,” Svitolina wrote on Twitter.
“I do not blame Russian athletes,” she wrote. “I wish to pay tribute to all players, especially Russians and Belarusians, who bravely stated their position against the war. Their support is essential.”
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