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In common with many other sports, angling has moved to expel Russian and Belarusian teams from all international competitions in response to the invasion of Ukraine and indiscriminate killing of civilians. The decision was taken this week by the Confédération Internationale de la Pêche Sportive (CIPS) – the body that oversees competitive international angling.
In a letter to the Russian and Belarusian fishing federations, CIPS President Prof. Ugo Matteoli said:
“The CIPS has taken the decision to accomplishing the International Olympic Committee recommendations and to follow the ideal of many other International Sports Federations to temporarily ban the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes, National teams and Clubs in any CIPS/FIPS International Championships.”
The Angling Trust, as the national governing body for England, had argued for such move in solidarity with both the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian anglers who regularly compete in international competitions.
Dean Luker, interim Head of Competitions at the Angling Trust, wrote to the officers of CIPS setting out a clear position. He said the Angling Trust:
“1. Formally requests that CIPS, along with all relevant FIPS organisations, should ban all Russian teams and individual anglers from competing in all CIPS/FIPS events with immediate effect.
2. Advises CIPS/FIPS that England will not enter a team in any CIPS/FIPS event where Russian teams / individuals are allowed to enter and / or participate.
The Angling Trust takes this position without hostility towards the Russian people, individuals, anglers or teams. We do so to express our solidarity with the people of Ukraine and our opposition to the invasion by Russia of a sovereign, independent, nation. Our position will be upheld until the end of hostilities by Russia and withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory.”
This afternoon all CIPS members were requested to “refrain from sending any national teams, athletes, clubs to any possible sport fishing events taking place in Russia or Belarus. At the same time, the organisers of CIPS/FIPS international championships are requested not to accept the participation of Russian or Belarusian teams, athletes, clubs in the above-mentioned events.”
The Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook welcomed the decision saying:
“It’s good to see the international sporting community taking a stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and brutal bombing and shelling of innocent civilians. From Football to Hockey, from Rugby to Judo, the sports governing bodies are making it clear that any participation by Russia in international events and competitions cannot be allowed to go ahead while their troops are invading a sovereign nation and indiscriminately killing its people. Angling has its part to play and I welcome the decision of CIPS to exclude Russian and Belarusian teams as a gesture of solidarity with our fellow anglers in Ukraine.”