It’s not fair – Antonio Conte sad at situation involving Russian athletes
Russia has been hit with heavy sanctions following Vladimir Putin’s decision to start a war.
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has expressed his sympathy with Russian athletes who have been banned from competing at top level sports as a result of their country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia has been hit with heavy sanctions following Vladimir Putin’s decision to start a war, with the sporting world taking a particular strong stance.
Russian athletes have been banned from competing at the Paralympics, its national football team has been thrown out of the World Cup play-offs while tennis players, including men’s world number one Daniil Medvedev, have been forced to compete under a neutral banner.
While Conte has voiced his horror at the war and Russia’s actions, he says the impact on sporting stars is “very sad” given the dedication it takes to get to the highest level.
“I repeat, it’s very sad that this serious situation, this war between Russia and Ukraine, is affecting football and the sporting [world],” he said.
“To know that Russia athletes are banned from competition is very sad. I think it’s not fair. I know very well the work that they do every day for this competition.
“You have to pay for this situation, I think it’s not right. Honestly, I hoped the situation is going to be solved, because it’s creating a lot of damage. We’re in 2022 and to see this is horrible for everybody.”
To know that Russia athletes are banned from competition is very sad. I think it's not fair. I know very well the work that they do every day for this competition
Penalties have also hit this country after Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government on Thursday and had his assets frozen, amid ties to Putin, that the Chelsea owner has always strongly denied.
Conte was a former employee of Abramovich and said: “We are talking about four or five years ago. At the time, Chelsea, also now, we’re talking about a fantastic club.
“With an owner that made this club big. Don’t forget that in the period he was the owner, Chelsea won everything. But it was for Chelsea.
“I think also we have seen other Russia owners in other teams. Not only in football but in many sports.”
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