Yesterday (28 February) the FEI executive board met to “unanimously condemn” the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces and “agree on the ramifications” for equestrian sport in Russia and Belarus. As a result, all international equestrian events scheduled in the two countries have been removed from the 2022 FEI calendar.
The FEI meeting follows a statement from the International Olympic Committee executive board on 25 February urging all international sports federations to relocate or cancel their sports events currently planned in Belarus and Russia.
“In addition to removing all the events from Russia and Belarus, the FEI executive board also unanimously agreed to freeze all Solidarity and development activities and to cancel or relocate, where possible, courses for officials scheduled to be held in Russia and Belarus in 2022,” said the spokesman, adding that a request had been made to the FEI board from the executive board to address the IOC’s recommendation to prohibit the participation of all Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials.
“The FEI will continue to monitor the situation and decisions taken by the FEI board will be communicated in the coming days.”
During the meeting the FEI executive board approved the allocation of a one million Swiss francs (£812,487) “Solidarity relief fund” for the equestrian community of Ukraine. In addition the FEI is “liaising closely” with the Ukrainian equestrian federation and neighbouring countries to facilities and coordinate logistical support.
“We are deeply concerned for the welfare of all Ukrainians and the entire equestrian community in Ukraine,” said Ingmar De Vos, FEI president and chair of the FEI Solidarity committee.
“Their safety is very much our priority, and we are liaising closely with our key contacts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to seek solutions to their most pressing needs.
“Sport is a network which relies and thrives on team spirit and camaraderie and it is through these important friendships that we can offer support and make a difference to the people of Ukraine in these challenging times.”
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