Drivers from Russia, Belarus to participate only in their neutral capacity, says FIA President Md. Ben Sulayem

ANI
London, UK Updated: Mar 02, 2022, 04:25 PM(IST)

Sulayem chaired an extraordinary meeting of WMSC to address matters relating to the ongoing Ukraine crisis. Photograph:( AFP )

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Motorsport's governing body FIA on Tuesday condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine but said Russian and Belarusian drivers could still take part in its competitions in a neutral capacity.

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem chaired an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) to address matters relating to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

In his opening remarks to the meeting, the FIA President said: "As you know, the FIA is watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and I hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation. We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and our thoughts are with all those suffering as a result of the events in Ukraine."

"I would like to stress that the HA, together with our promoters, proactively acted on this matter last week and communicated accordingly on the Formula 1, Formula 2, WTCR and the International Drifting Cup," he added.

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Motorsport's governing body FIA on Tuesday condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine but said Russian and Belarusian drivers could still take part in its competitions in a neutral capacity.

An updated version of the different FIA International Calendars will be presented to the WMSC meeting in Bahrain for approval," he added.

In accordance with the International Olympic Committee recommendations, Council members approved the following decisions to be implemented with immediate effect: No international/zone competition to take place in Russia and Belarus, until further notice.

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No flag/symbol or anthem of Russia/Belarus to be used in international/zone competitions until further notice No Russian/Belarusian national teams to participate in international/zone competitions (e.g. FIA Motorsport Games), until further notice.

Russian/Belarusian drivers, individual competitors and officials to participate in international/zone competitions only in their neutral capacity and under the "FIA flag", subject to specific commitment and adherence to the FIA's principles of peace and political neutrality, until further notice.

No Russian/Belarusian national symbols, colours, flags (uniform, equipment and car)- should be displayed or anthems should be played at international/zone competitions, until further notice.

The FIA President added: "I want to thank the Council members for their prompt action in deciding these measures in the interests of sport and peace. We stand in solidarity with Leonid Kostyuchenko, the President of the Federation Automobile d'Ukraine (FAU) and the wider FIA family in the country."

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"The measures taken today recognise the authority of the FAU in Ukraine and are also aligned with the recommendations recently made by the International Olympic Committee. We are in active discussions with our members as we continue to extend our compassion and support in their time of need. We sincerely hope for a peaceful resolution to their intolerable hardship," he added.

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