Belarus

Vladimir Putin stripped of black belt; World Taekwondo bans Russia and Belarus

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Vladimir Putin, 69, attained the rank of master of sambo in 1963 and master of judo in 1975. In 1976, he became the city champion in judo in Leningrad, Russia, which was renamed Saint Petersburg in 1992.

In November 2013, an honorary 9th dan black belt was conferred to Putin by World Taekwondo, a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations and International Paralympic Committee. More than eight years later, the belt was revoked.

As ordered by Putin, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Via the border in Belarus, Russian tanks entered Ukraine, forcing his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, 44, to declare martial law throughout Ukraine.

World Taekwondo condemned the attacks in Ukraine. The international federation that governs taekwondo explained that the attacks are against its vision, which is, “Peace is more previous than triumph.”

Aside from stripping Putin of his honorary 9th dan black belt, World Taekwondo also announced that Russian and Belarusian national flags and anthems would be probihited from its events. The federation would neither organize nor recognize taekwondo events in the two countries, as well.

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On July 15, 2018, Putin met former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Conor McGregor, 33, of Dublin, Ireland at the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup Final in Moscow, Russia. The football event was also attended by McGregor’s nemesis Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 33, of Dagestan, Russia.

On February 28, 2022, FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations (EUFA) announced in a joint statement that they are suspending all Russian international and club teams from their competitions until further notice amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. This means that Russia will not be able to play its World Cup playoff against Poland set for March 24, 2022.

“Following the initial decisions adopted by the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee, which envisaged the adoption of additional measures, FIFA and UEFA have today decided together that all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, shall be suspended from participation in both FIFA an UEFA competitions until further notice,” FIFA and the UEFA stated. “These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters. Football is fully united here and in full solidarity with all the people affected in Ukraine.”

Moreover, the UEFA has ended its partnership with Gazprom. Founded on August 8, 1989, the Russian majority state-owned energy corporation is headquartered in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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