Bach and Margaritis support politicisation of sport in prank video call


The President of the IOC and the Vice-President of the European Commission, chargeable for selling the European lifestyle, fall right into a lure when they’re recorded speaking to a supposed African chief. Both leaders find yourself praying to non-existent gods to make it occur with the to steer the African Union not to participate within the Friendship Games.

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President and Head of the European Commission’s Unit for Promoting the European Way of Life, have made unprecedented statements in a 27-minute video prak.

A faux African chief as consultant of the African Union spoke to them by way of a pre-arranged video name, throughout which each Bach and Schinas persuaded him to persuade African athletes not to participate within the competitors in Russia. Thomas Bach has been concerned in a prank video earlier than and, surprisingly, was caught once more.

It was the African chief who turned out to be the prankster, whom the 2 leaders tried to steer to not be a part of the Friendship Games. Towards the tip of the 30-minute recording, Bach and Schinas settle for the problem of praying to some invented gods to assist them make the “right decision”. Little do they know that it’s all a joke.

Russian pranksters Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, generally known as Vovan and Lexus, extracted confessions and unprecedented feedback from Bach and Schinas in regards to the “politicisation of sport, because this is the moment when it’s pure political propaganda to show what’s being planned”. Bach and Schinas accepted the interview with the purpose of campaigning in opposition to the Friendship Games.

During the recording, which was streamed on-line on Wednesday evening, each  are requested about their views on the Friendship Games and the IOC’s stance on them, in addition to whether or not some European athletes have requested to participate within the Friendship Games, and even the potential of Russian athletes competing within the Olympics beneath the Ukrainian flag. “They could end up in prison for fifteen years. Or they could be sent to Siberia,” stated Bach.

Margaritis Schinas additionally commented on the Friendship Games: “After our meeting today, I would like to make a statement in support of the IOC statement. So my idea would be… I can read you the two paragraphs, if you agree. Russia’s so-called Friendship Games are being organised against the backdrop of Russia’s unabated war of aggression against Ukraine, its peaceful neighbour.”

“Russia is misusing sport and its peaceful values to legitimise an illegal and unjustified war. We support the IOC’s position, expose the political motivation behind this initiative and call on National Olympic Committees not to participate. The unity of the Olympic Movement around its core values remains the key to overcoming these challenges,” he continued.

Thomas Bach urged the supposed African chief to request not solely to the NOCs but additionally to the African governments to steer them not to participate within the Friendship Games: “If you appeal to the National Olympic Committees, it’s even more important to appeal to the governments, because Russia, as we say in our statement, is not appealing to the National Olympic Committees. That’s why it would be extremely important to say that you are calling on the NOCs and on the governments.”

Bach and Schinas have been requested whether or not their statements through the recording might be printed, and so they advised that it shouldn’t be. The recording takes place with Bach and Schinas of their respective workplaces, whereas the pranksters are in a considerably picturesque setting with a skeleton showing on the finish as ornament.

The supposed African chief additionally asks in regards to the existence of Russians on the IOC Executive Board: “I’ve heard that there are some Russian representatives, including, if I’m not mistaken, Isinbayeva (Yelena, the pole-vaulter) or others. So what about her? Has she tried to defend the Russian government?”

“No, there is no Russian member of the Executive Board. If you mention Isinbayeva’s name, she has been living outside the country for almost two years. And anyway, the same rules apply to IOC members as to athletes. You know what we have explained. If someone supports the war, they’re out,” Bach identified.

In the recording, Bach may be heard saying that “Russian athletes would not be admitted”. The President goes on to elucidate the perspective of Russia and Belarus to the Olympic ban. “You can also see that the Belarusian side has a very different attitude to this situation. The Russian side is now very aggressive towards the IOC”.

During the prank, reference is made to French President Emmanuel Macron’s phrases about sending troops to Ukraine to combat in opposition to Russia. Schinas was requested if this might improve the strain within the battle. “Can I ask Vice-President Schinas if he thinks this will lead to a new phase of escalation?” “I’m not in the Elysée Palace. I’m here in the Berlin Mall. Our building is much more boring. No wine, no carpets. I don’t know. I can tell you what I know, but I can’t tell you what I don’t know,” he replied.

“What I can tell you, Mr President, is that this is a moment where nothing is innocent, a moment of truth for Ukraine and Russia. It is also clear that this is a major instrumentalisation operation. If there is one message that you should probably convey to your colleagues as they consider this invitation, it is that this is not just another sports organisation. This is the Olympics. I mean, say they can choose to be in both, but it’s not the same to be in both. This is a moment of truth. You know, we are counting,” he stated.

Bach additionally weighed in on the matter: “I think it would be important for the African governments to know is the reasons given by Vice President Shinas. To know that by participating in the Friendship Games these countries and these governments are taking sides in the Russian-Ukrainian war and they are taking sides with Russia. They are taking part in a manifestation of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine and its violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. That’s the difference.”

“Those who follow the rules will come. They won’t be deprived of anything. It is the Russian government that will be deprived,” said Bach. “And what happens next? Maybe we could give them a special badge. The jokers again referred to a hypothetical situation for those athletes who will not be able to compete under the Russian flag. You know what would be a good decision? If they didn’t use a neutral flag, but the flag of Ukraine, to show their support for their nation,” the IOC President added.

Schinas was subsequent requested in regards to the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in Paris 2024. “I know that there are many people who left Russia reluctantly when the invasion began, so there are many people who do not support Russia’s foreign policy. And these people could come to the Olympics. What do you think, Mr Vice-President?” “Exactly. We are open,” replied the Greek.

The video-call of just about 27 minutes went forward with Schinas Margaritis: “The purpose of this meeting isn’t to reopen the question of the participation of individual athletes. This is something taken. I told President Bach that the conditions, that ring fence participation is okay, but that’s not the purpose, but the second question is… I will do what suits you. Do you want this statement to be linked to this conversation? Or do you prefer it sourced by me? This is not a politically innocent decision. That’s why I’m asking, especially to our African friends.”

After a closing spherical of questions, the supposed African chief is given an settlement from each side to not publish the dialog and to proceed to work collectively to make sure that “the Friendship Games are not celebrated” and to wish to some invented “gods” to make it so.