Saudi Sports Ministry Celebrates OIC Youth Day 2023 – Asharq Al-awsat – English

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Sports for Sports and Youth Affairs, Abdulaziz Al-Massaad, has presided over a virtual symposium focused on “Youth Volunteering and Social Responsibility”.
Monday’s event marked the celebration of “Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Youth Day 2023” as part of the Fifth Session of the Islamic Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports, under the Kingdom’s chairmanship.
The symposium served as a valuable platform for national youth institutions from OIC Member States to familiarize themselves with OIC policies and programs designed to empower youth. It also facilitated the exchange of solutions to address the challenges that young people encounter.
Morocco’s qualifying game for the African Cup of Nations was postponed on Saturday in the wake of the earthquake that struck the country, killing more than 1,000 people.
Morocco had been scheduled to play Liberia in Agadir on the country’s western coast, but the Moroccan soccer federation said the game had been postponed indefinitely after an agreement with the Confederation of African Football.
The earthquake that struck late Friday night also damaged buildings from villages in the Atlas Mountains to the historic city of Marrakech.
Agadir is roughly 170 kilometers (105 miles) southwest of the epicenter of Friday’s tremor near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province.
The Gambian national team was in Marrakech during the earthquake ahead of a decisive qualifying game against Congo on Sunday. Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet told BBC World Service that he initially thought an airplane had crashed into the team’s hotel.
“It seems it was only 30 seconds but it felt endless. It was really scary,” Saintfiet said. “The walls were really shaking and things were falling down from the ceiling and the walls. I never in my life saw a building moving like that. When it stopped, I started running and checking if my team members were also out of their rooms.”
No team members were reported injured.
Marrakech was hosting the game because of stadium problems in Gambia. CAF did not immediately respond to an email about the status of Sunday’s match.
Morocco star player Achraf Hakimi took to social media to offer his condolences to victims of the earthquake.
“It is time to help each other to save as many lives as possible. My condolences to all who lost a loved one,” Hakimi wrote on Instagram.
The magnitude-6.8 quake was the biggest to hit the North African country in 120 years.
On Friday morning, the Morocco team arrived in Agadir and then trained at Adrar Stadium in the afternoon.
The Atlas Lions made a historic run at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, becoming the first African team to reach the semifinals, where they lost to France.
Morocco has already qualified for the 24-team African tournament, which begins in January in Ivory Coast.
The team was also scheduled to play a friendly match in France against Burkina Faso on Tuesday.
Novak Djokovic could claim a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at Sunday’s US Open final but will put that landmark out of his mind as he prepares to face old foe Daniil Medvedev.
The Serb battled past American Ben Shelton in straight sets on Friday to set up a rematch with Russia’s Medvedev, who denied him a rare calendar Grand Slam two years ago.
The memory of that bitter defeat was still fresh in his mind, as Djokovic told reporters he was trying not to focus on the significance of a 24th major title that would match Margaret Court’s all-time singles record.
“(I don’t) think about the history too much in this sense, you know, because when I did that in the past, like, ’21 finals here I was maybe overwhelmed with the occasion and the opportunity and I underperformed,” said Djokovic.
“So I don’t want this to happen again, and I’ll try to, you know, just focus on what needs to be done and tactically prepare myself for that match.”
Djokovic won the Australian Open and hoisted the trophy at Roland Garros already this year. He had a chance to collect his 24th major title in Wimbledon but was denied in the finale by Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.
Fans had hoped that Djokovic would meet the young Spaniard again in New York. But the defending champion came up short against Medvedev in their respective semi-final.
“I was very close to (making) the 24 in London, but, you know, lost to a better player,” said Djokovic, who will take the top spot in the world rankings when they update after the tournament.
“Every time in a Grand Slam final it’s another shot for history, you know, and I’m aware of it, and of course I’m very proud of it. But… I don’t have much time, nor do I allow myself to reflect on these things.”
The legal team advising Felipe Massa in his attempt to be declared 2008 Formula One world champion hope Lewis Hamilton will support the case in the name of sporting integrity, one of the Brazilian’s lawyers has said.
Bernardo Viana also told Reuters the lawyers had agreed to give Formula One and the sport’s governing body, the FIA, until mid-October to respond to a Letter Before Claim sent to them on Aug. 15. The legal team had initially set a Friday deadline.
“The ball is on their court, we’ve been waiting for their response,” said Viana, a partner at law firm Vieira Rezende Advogados. “They asked for more time, until mid-October, and in good faith we have agreed to that.”
Former Ferrari driver Massa, now 42, started his legal action over an alleged “conspiracy” that he says denied him the title, and has vowed to “fight to the end” to be named world champion.
Britain’s seven times world champion Hamilton won that title, his first, by a single point in a year that became notorious after Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. revealed in 2009 he had been told by team bosses to crash deliberately at the Singapore Grand Prix.
Massa, who retired in 2017, was leading in Singapore when fellow-Brazilian Piquet crashed his Renault into the wall on lap 14 of the 61-lap race.
The crash triggered a safety car that benefited his team mate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win while Massa failed to score after a bungled pitstop.
Massa now claims the race should have been cancelled because the sport’s leaders knew before the end of the season what had happened but covered it up.
His lawyers want Hamilton, who was racing for McLaren at the time, to support the claims.
“He is an important ambassador for the sport and has always defended sporting integrity. He is an honorary Brazilian citizen and very well liked by Brazilians, so I hope he will support us,” Viana said.
“We have absolutely nothing against Hamilton.”
The Briton, who now drives for Mercedes, has said he was not focused on something that happened 15 years ago.
Massa sought legal advice after former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told a German website in March that he and former FIA president Max Mosley had been aware in 2008 that Piquet crashed deliberately.
Mosley, who worked closely with Ecclestone, died in 2021 while FIA race director Charlie Whiting, another key figure, died in 2019.
Despite that, Viana said Massa’s legal team were confident they had a strong case and enough evidence to bring the Brazilian the championship.
They are ready to fight for as long as it takes, Viana said, adding the case involves not only Britain but “several jurisdictions”.
Massa’s advisors also include sports law barrister Nick de Marco, who said in a written statement to Reuters his case “raises a number of very important and interesting legal issues as well as fundamental matters of sporting integrity.”
“I am sure it will be of great interest not only to all motorsports’ fans, but to anyone with an interest in the fairness of sports’ competitions,” he added.
Daniil Medvedev predicted he would need to play “11 out of 10” to get past defending champion and top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open.
How did Medvedev rate his performance against Alcaraz in the semifinals Friday night?
“I played 12 out of 10,” Medvedev declared after eliminating Alcaraz 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to set up a rematch in the final against Novak Djokovic, a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4) winner over unseeded American Ben Shelton earlier Friday.
The No. 3-seeded Medvedev won his lone major championship at Flushing Meadows in 2021 by defeating 23-time Slam winner Djokovic in that year’s title match. That prevented Djokovic from completing what would have been the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969.
Even before the start of these two weeks, folks had been anticipating a Djokovic vs. Alcaraz showdown on the last day of the event. Theirs is an inter-generational rivalry — Djokovic is 36; Alcaraz 20 — that has fascinated the tennis world in recent months.
A meeting in New York on Sunday would have been a rematch of the final of the Cincinnati Masters last month, won by Djokovic, and of the final at Wimbledon in July, won by Alcaraz, and of a semifinal at the French Open in June, won by Djokovic.
But it was not to be.
Medvedev stood in the way.
“These kind of matches can happen,” Alcaraz said.
Alcaraz — who will relinquish the No. 1 ranking to Djokovic no matter what happens on Sunday — had been trying to become the first man to claim consecutive championships in New York since Roger Federer won five in a row from 2004-08.
Alcaraz spoke days earlier about his growth over the past 12 months and how much more mature he’s become.
“After this match, I’m going to change my mind,” Alcaraz said. “I’m not mature enough.”
So instead, it will be Medvedev, a 27-year-old from Russia, who will be appearing in his third US Open final in five years and his fifth major title match in all.
He lost to Rafael Nadal in New York in 2019 and at the Australian Open in 2022, and to Djokovic at the Australian Open in 2021.
“The challenge is that you play a guy that won 23 Grand Slams, and I have only one,” Medvedev said, looking ahead to taking on Djokovic. “When I beat him here, I managed to play better than myself, so I need to do it again. There is no other way.”
Medvedev had lost to Alcaraz twice this season, including in the Wimbledon semifinals. Those head-to-head results left Medvedev concerned.
“Before the match, for sure, a lot of doubts,” he said.
But he was up to the task. Was he ever.
He stood way back to return serves and would conjure up passing shots “from his house,” Alcaraz observed with a smile, also noting that Medvedev hit his forehand harder than usual.
Told about that last part, Medvedev said: “I’m happy that I managed to get in his head.”
One key moment: From 3-all in the opening tiebreaker, Medvedev grabbed the next four points and that set.
“I totally (lost) my mind,” Alcaraz said.
When Medvedev went up 3-0 in the second set, Alcaraz went to the sideline and thought about smacking his racket against a couple of plastic bottles on the floor near his seat, but held back.
“It was tough,” Alcaraz said, “for me to stay calm.”
There were moments of brilliance from both men, displays of athleticism, instincts and shot-making that brought fans out of their seats.
Also often jumping up from his spot in a corner guest box at Arthur Ashe Stadium was Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion who is Alcaraz’s coach. Ferrero was looking nervous throughout the second set as the match appeared to be getting away from his guy, keeping up a constant patter of instructions and exhortations in Spanish.
It all helped, if only briefly. Alcaraz really got going in the third set, and his net-charging tactics — including plenty of serve-and-volleying — were effective. He won 54 of 70 points that he finished at the net.
Medvedev served about as well as ever. He saved eight of the nine break points he faced and then often got the better of the match’s shortest points, winning 101 of the 174 exchanges that lasted four strokes or fewer.
“Against someone like Carlos, you have to serve well,” Medvedev said. “You have no other choice.”
The final twist came with Alcaraz serving down 3-2 in the fourth set. It was a lengthy game that lasted nearly 15 minutes, filled with a ton of impressive returning by the lanky Medvedev, whose long arms seem to get his racket to everything.
When one Medvedev return landed out, Alcaraz looked up and put his hands together, as if to say, “Thank you!”
But Alcaraz missed one volley, and then couldn’t quite deliver as he reached to try to get to a dipping, angled backhand return.
“That game was amazing,” Medvedev would say later.
It gave Medvedev the lead and an edge he would not relinquish, even if he did need to put aside a pair of double-faults while serving for the victory as some spectators called out to distract him.
“That’s not so nice. But I’m happy it didn’t help them,” Medvedev said. “They can go to sleep now.”
Alcaraz was asked how long he’ll stew over this setback.
“Days? Weeks? I don’t know,” he responded. “I don’t think I’m going to think about this loss for a long time.”
Neymar eclipsed Pelé as the top goal scorer for Brazil’s national team after overtaking the three-time World Cup winner’s career total on Friday.
The goal that put the 31-year-old Neymar on the top of Brazil’s scoring record with 78 came in the 61st minute in a World Cup qualifying match against Bolivia in the Amazon city of Belém.
It was Brazil’s fourth goal of the match in a 5-1 win, with the last goal of the game also being scored by Neymar — his 79th — during injury time.
Neymar’s record-breaking goal came after a low cross into the penalty box, which the striker finished with accuracy from close range. He celebrated with a punch in the air, as Pelé usually did.
“I am very happy, no words for this,” Neymar said in brief comments to media after he was handed a plaque by the president of the Brazilian soccer confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues. “I never thought I would reach this record.”
Earlier, the Al-Hilal striker missed a penalty in the 17th minute, which goalkeeper Billy Viscarra saved. Neymar’s second goal in the match came in similar fashion near the final whistle, with another low cross by Raphinha.
Brazil’s soccer confederation considers Pelé as its top goal scorer with 95 goals in 114 matches. FIFA does not count goals that Pelé had at national team friendlies against clubs.
“78 times Neymar,” the Brazilian soccer body said on social media after Neymar’s record-breaking goal. “Neymar scores the fifth for the Selecao,” it said after the striker’s second goal against Bolivia.
Rodrigues, the president of Brazil’s soccer body, reiterated Neymar had become “the all-time top goal-scorer for Brazil in matches against national teams.”
Pelé’s Foundation, however, acknowledged Neymar’s achievement.
“Congratulations, Neymar Jr, for surpassing the King in goals for the Brazilian National Team in official FIFA matches,” it said on social media. “Surely Pelé is applauding you today!”
Pelé died from cancer on Dec. 29 in Sao Paulo at the age of 82.
“I want to say that this (the record) doesn’t mean I am better than him (Pelé) or than any national team player,” Neymar added in his short statement. “I always wanted to write my story in the national team, and today I did that.”
Neymar’s most-recent match for Brazil before the victory over Bolivia was the World Cup quarterfinal loss last year to Croatia. He left Qatar with doubts about his future in the national team and did not play the Selecao’s first three games this year.
New Brazil coach Fernando Diniz said Neymar came to play for Brazil “to score goals, break records, show that he is very much willing to live this (the national team.)”
“He is a great hero,” Diniz said. “People have to recognize it and accept it. He doesn’t do anything to get this adoration he gets from the crowd. It is because of the natural talent he has.”
There will be no gold medal for the US at this World Cup. And for the second consecutive time in FIBA’s biggest tournament, there might not be any medal at all for the Americans.
Instead, it’s Germany on the cusp of a world title.
Andreas Obst scored 24 points, Franz Wagner added 22 and Germany shredded the US defense for much of the way in its first win over the Americans — 113-111 in the World Cup semifinals on Friday night.
Obst hit the shot of the night, a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to put Germany up by four and just about snuff out a last-ditch US rally. Germany led for 30 of the game’s 40 minutes, the US led for about 4 1/2, and there was little question who was controlling play much of the way.
“We knew the task at hand, and that was to go win,” US guard Austin Reaves said. “And we didn’t do that.”
The US, down by 10 midway through the fourth, nearly pulled off a comeback, getting within one point on two separate occasions in the final minutes. But the Americans never got the lead, and it was the Germans jumping and hugging as time expired.
Germany — the last unbeaten team left in the tournament at 7-0 — will play Serbia on Sunday (8:40 a.m. EDT) for the World Cup title. Serbia beat Canada in the first semifinal, getting to its second World Cup final in the last three tournaments; it lost 129-92 to the US in the 2014 championship game.
Canada will play the US for bronze Sunday (4:40 a.m. EDT).
Anthony Edwards scored 23 points for the US (5-2), which got 21 from Reaves, 17 from Mikal Bridges and 15 from Jalen Brunson. The Americans shot 58% — but let Germany shoot 58% as well, and that was the ultimate undoing.
“If you give up 113 points in a 40-minute game, you’re not going to win many of those,” Reaves said.
Germany had been 0-6 against the Americans in World Cup or Olympic competition, usually getting blown out in those games.
Not this time. Once again, even bringing the only roster filled with all NBA players wasn’t enough for the US at the World Cup. The Americans finished seventh at the 2019 World Cup in China; this finish — third or fourth — will technically be better, but nothing other than gold was going to be satisfactory for USA Basketball.
Daniel Theis had 21 points for Germany. Theis has scored 21 or more points six times in his NBA career — and picked Friday for one of the games of his life.
A 35-24 third quarter was basically the difference for Germany, which this time finished the job that it couldn’t pull off when meeting the Americans in Abu Dhabi for an exhibition earlier this summer. Germany led that game by 16 in the second half, then an 18-0 run by the Americans down the stretch led to a 99-91 US win.
It needed similar heroics this time. They almost got there. Key word: almost. This time, Germany finished it off. And when it was over, Reaves couldn’t help but see Schroder — his former teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers — revel in a huge moment for German basketball.
“Tip your hat to him,” Reaves said. “I know how special this moment is for him.”
A trademark, curling free-kick from Lionel Messi got world champions Argentina off to a winning start in South American World Cup qualifying on Thursday with a 1-0 victory at home to Ecuador.
Colombia beat Venezuela 1-0 while 10-man Peru held on for a 0-0 draw at Paraguay as the long journey of South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup got under way, AFP said.
Messi, who led Argentina to their third World Cup triumph in Qatar in December, has yet to confirm whether he will continue with his national side all the way to 2026, but he showed his importance yet again with the breakthrough in what had threatened to be a frustrating night for Lionel Scaloni’s team.
Lautaro Martinez won a free-kick in a central area in the 78th minute, just outside the Ecuador penalty area and Messi executed to perfection with his effort floating over the wall and dipping perfectly to beat the stationary Hernan Galindez.
With the goal, Messi drew level with former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez of Uruguay as the all-time leading scorers in the South American qualifiers, both with 29 goals.
The Albiceleste had dominated possession against an Ecuador side which defended in numbers and limited their attacks to the occasional break on the counter.
The first opening of the game fell to Messi in the 16th minute when he was found on the edge of the box but put his side-foot effort wide of the post.
Just before the break, Lautaro Martinez went closer when he slid in to meet a Rodrigo De Paul and his shot struck the post.
Messi worked himself an opening in the 69th minute but his low shot was weakly struck and was comfortably dealt with by Galindez.
But the 80,000 crowd in the Estadio Monumental were brought to their feet by Messi’s goal and from then on it was smooth sailing for Argentina.
De Paul, who was excellent throughout, dribbled across from the right setting up substitute Angel Di Maria but his effort was just wide.
Then De Paul brought a fine save out of Galindez near the end with a close-range blast at the near post.
“Ecuador showed they have very good players, that they are physically strong and that they are clear about what they do,” Messi said.
“We know that in every game we have to give one hundred percent to pull it off. But we showed…that this group will not relax beyond what they achieved, which is something historic and extraordinary,” he added.
“We have to be aware that we enjoyed everything a lot, but what we did is over. We have to look ahead,” said the seven-times Ballon D’Or winner.
A 46th minute header from Rafael Santos Borre, from a pinpoint Jhon Arias cross, was enough to earn three points for Colombia in Barranquilla.
The victory ensured a winning start for new Colombia coach, Argentine Nestor Lorenzo, who was taking charge of his first competitive game.
Colombia failed to qualify for last year’s World Cup in Qatar while Venezuela are hoping to earn their first ever appearance in a World Cup finals.
Peru’s difficult task in Ciudad del Este became harder after they lost defender Luis Advíncula on the stroke of half-time when he was dismissed for a second yellow card.
But they held on for a point in what was a pulsating, high-tempo encounter.
The qualification process for the expanded 48-team World Cup, to be held in the United States, Canada and Mexico, offers two extra places for South America with six teams qualifying directly.
The seventh out of the 10 nations will head to an inter-continental play-off.
On Friday, five-times World Cup winners Brazil face Bolivia while Uruguay host Chile.
American teenager Coco Gauff shrugged off disruption from climate protesters to reach the US Open final on Thursday as Aryna Sabalenka survived a huge scare to stay on course for a second Grand Slam title.
A night of nerve-shredding semi-final drama saw Gauff reach the final for the first time with a 6-4, 7-5 defeat of the Czech Republic’s 10th seed Karolina Muchova.
The 19-year-old Gauff showed great poise to remain unfazed after the match was halted for 49 minutes early in the second set when environmental activists staged a protest in the upper tiers of the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Play was held up as officials attempted to remove one of the protesters who had glued their bare feet to the concrete floor of the arena. The four protesters were later taken into police custody.
When play resumed, sixth seed Gauff closed out a hard-fought second set to advance to the second Grand Slam final of her career.
The American teenager said while the enforced stoppage had been “challenging”, she had sympathy for the activists and their cause.
“I definitely, I believe, you know, in climate change,” Gauff said. “I think there are things we can do better.
“I prefer it not to happen in my match but I wasn’t pissed at the protesters.
“Obviously I don’t want it to happen when I’m winning up 6-4, 1-0, and I wanted the momentum to keep going. But hey, if that’s what they felt they needed to do to get their voices heard, I can’t really get upset at it.”
The protest was the latest high-profile sporting event to be targeted by environmental activists in recent years.
Other Grand Slam tennis events including Wimbledon and the French Open have also been disrupted by protesters.
Sabalenka Houdini act
Gauff, who is now the youngest American woman to reach the US Open final since her idol Serena Williams in 1999, will face second seed Sabalenka in Saturday’s final.
The 25-year-old from Belarus, who will take over the world No.1 ranking from Iga Swiatek at the conclusion of the tournament, has been in scintillating form in New York.
But she was forced to come back from the brink to dig out a 0-6, 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (10/5) win against American 17th seed Madison Keys in 2hr 32min to reach the final.
“I’m really proud of myself that I was able to turn around this game and get this win, because it was just incredible,” Sabalenka said after the victory.
“I was just, like, ‘Come on, keep trying, keep pushing, like, I don’t know, do something extra. Just try to turn around this match.’
“I think this kind of thinking really helped me to stay in the game and to keep trying, keep pushing, to still have this belief that I have a chance to turn around this match.”
Sabalenka suffered a disastrous opening set and then fell a break behind in the second to leave Keys serving for the match at 5-4.
But the Australian Open champion roared back to force a tie-break which she won emphatically and then rode her luck in the deciding set, once again recovering from a break down to set up another tie-break.
She was left blushing after mistakenly celebrating victory in the tie-break when she went 7/3 ahead, forgetting the 2022 rule change which dictates that final set tie-breaks are now first-to-10.
“I thought that we play tie-break up till seven,” a sheepish Sabalenka admitted. “I was just all over the place.”
But she quickly regrouped to close out a Houdini act that had looked improbable after her out-of-sorts display for most of the first and second sets.
A devastated Keys was left distraught in defeat, breaking down in tears during the post-match press conference.
“I definitely tried to leave it all out there tonight and do my best, and that’s all you can do,” said Keys, who had come agonizingly close to reaching her second US Open final.
“I think everyone at the start of the tournament would obviously be really, really excited to be in the semis. Right now it sucks.”

China launched the torch relay for its Covid-delayed Asian Games on Friday with thousands of people lining the streets of the host city Hangzhou.
Fans waving miniature national flags packed into the area around the city’s West Lake several hours before the start of the 9:00 am launch ceremony, AFP said.
A pair of top officials then ignited the sleek metal torch before a succession of national luminaries paraded it through the streets.
The Asian Games start in Hangzhou, a city in eastern China famed for its elegant temples, canals and bridges, on September 23.
Hangzhou had been due to hold the Games in September last year but they were postponed because of China’s strict zero-Covid rules, which have since been abandoned.
The relay will run through 11 cities in the region with over 2,000 people taking part, before ending up back in Hangzhou on September 20.
Participants on Friday — all clad in white tracksuits with red trim — included former swimming world champion Luo Xuejuan and Daniel Zhang, CEO of Hangzhou-based tech giant Alibaba.
“Lots of people were already here when we got here at 6:30 am,” said Hangzhou resident Shao Yan, 37.
“I hope the Asian Games will be held smoothly and we have more of these kinds of activities in the future,” she told AFP.
Some in the vast crowds had come from farther afield, including Peng, a tourist from the southern island province of Hainan.
“I felt very excited after watching it,” said Peng, who only gave his surname.
“It shows that our country is very powerful,” he added.
This year’s Asian Games is set to be the largest edition ever with 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions.
French President Emmanuel Macron insisted Wednesday that “the Russian flag cannot be at the Paris Olympic Games… at a time when Russia is committing war crimes”.
Quizzed on the possible presence of Russian athletes in Paris competing as neutrals, Macron added: “I hope that this is a decision of conscience in the Olympic world. It is not the host state which must decide what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should do.”
He added to sports daily L’Equipe: “I have total confidence in Thomas Bach (the IOC president)”.
Athletes from Russia and Belarus have faced sanctions from a multitude of sports since Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022.
Despite the ongoing war, the IOC has recommended allowing athletes from Russia and Moscow ally Belarus to compete as individual neutrals in international competitions.
Those allowed to reintegrate into world sport must satisfy certain conditions.
These include competing under a neutral flag and proving that they have not actively supported the war in Ukraine.
“Obviously, there cannot be the Russian flag at the Paris Games, I think there is consensus,” Macron added in his interview with L’Equipe.
“There is no place for Russia as a country at a time when it has committed war crimes, when it has deported children,” AFP quoted him as saying.
“The real question that the Olympic world will have to decide is what place to give to these Russian athletes who sometimes have prepared for a lifetime, and can also be the victims of this regime.”
However, Macron pondered how to differentiate between those Russian athletes who are accomplices and those who are victims of the regime.
“This is the real question,” he added.
The IOC must, he said, make a decision that is fair and understood by Ukrainians.
“This is the balancing act that we will have to carry out.”
انشئ حساباً خاصاً بك لتحصل على أخبار مخصصة لك ولتتمتع بخاصية حفظ المقالات وتتلقى نشراتنا البريدية المتنوعة


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