Nancy Faeser and the ministers responsible for sport want to prevent the participation of athletes from Russia and Belarus in international competitions in Germany and Europe by refusing visas. This was announced by the Federal Minister of the Interior and Sports from the SPD this Friday after the Conference of Sports Ministers in Frankfurt. She will seek coordination with the Federal Foreign Office.

Michael Reinsch

Correspondent for sports in Berlin.

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The Hessian Minister of the Interior, Peter Beuth (CDU), confirmed that the state ministers unanimously and explicitly supported them. Athletes from Russia and Belarus should not be given the opportunity to enter the Schengen area via Germany. Warmonger Russia should not use sporting events as a stage for its propaganda, Faeser said.

Faeser for the Olympics in Berlin 2036

The IOC and its President Thomas Bach have recommended that federations lift the exclusion of athletes from international competitions due to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. The exclusion solely because of their origin from Russia and Belarus discredits the athletes concerned. They should not be held accountable for the actions of their government and should be given the chance to compete as neutral athletes in qualifying competitions for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The IOC relies on a majority of its members and the National Olympic Committees. It has not yet decided on the admission of Russians and Belarusians to next year's Games.

An expert opinion by the lawyer Patricia Wiater from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, which was commissioned by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), contradicts the IOC's argumentation. The conditional re-admission with the purpose of countering a war propaganda instrumentalization of the competitions and having a de-escalating effect on the war is not as suitable as the exclusion of Russian athletes, she writes. This could also serve to protect the human rights of Ukrainian athletes. Organizers in Germany and Poland have already canceled competitions so as not to have to receive Russian athletes.

On the eve of the conference, Faeser had spoken out in favour of holding the 2036 Olympic Games in Berlin. At an event hosted by "The Pioneer" on Thursday, she suggested that the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin should be historically and politically reappraised. "They were terrible games in 1936. The Nazis organized the games there and wanted to present themselves." She thinks it is conceivable to do this in the place "where exclusion, where this terrible disregard for humanity has taken place".

Faeser's predecessor Horst Seehofer (CSU) had rejected this idea. "How would you see that in the world?" he told the F.A.Z.: "The Germans are celebrating their centenary in relation to the Nazi Olympics? That can't be."