Over 50% of Europeans Believe Athletes Should Boycott Sport Events in Undemocratic States

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov / Go to the mediabankOlympic Park in Pyeongchang
Olympic Park in Pyeongchang - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than half of Europeans expect that athletes should boycott sporting events in countries with poor human rights record, while over 70% believe that human rights conditions should be taken into account while determining the location of sporting competitions, according to the data published by YouGov group on Wednesday.
YouGov conducted a poll in January 2022 across the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Spain to find out if the human rights dimension should impact international sporting competitions, against the backdrop of the Winter Olympics being held in Beijing from 4-20 February, and the Paralympics from 4-13 March.

"Over half the people across the countries surveyed believe their nation's teams and competitors should boycott a sporting event if it was being held in a country with a poor human rights record. This includes nearly six in ten of those in Great Britain (59%) at the top, and around half of Italians (53%) at the lower end," YouGov said in a press release.

Meanwhile, in general, less than a quarter, between 14% and 27%, in the surveyed countries are against sports boycotts.
YouGov also revealed that nearly two-thirds of Europeans believe that international sports bodies should consider a human rights situation when deciding on host nations for sporting competitions, including 83% in Spain, 79% in Italy, 77% in Denmark, 75% in Germany and the UK, 72% in France and 67% in Sweden.
© REUTERS / Brian SnyderПоднятие китайского флага на церемонии открытия XXIV зимних Олимпийских игр в Пекине
Поднятие китайского флага на церемонии открытия XXIV зимних Олимпийских игр в Пекине - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
Поднятие китайского флага на церемонии открытия XXIV зимних Олимпийских игр в Пекине
The poll further showed a general consensus that international sports organizations are overtly benign to collaborate with non-democratic governments.

"These institutions are too willing to work with authoritarian regimes according to 63% of Danes, 58% of Germans, 57% of Spaniards and Swedes, 52% of Britons, 41% of French respondents, and 39% of Italians," the statement added.

The dispute over holding sporting events in countries perceived to be undemocratic has again erupted in the context of the Beijing Olympics, which were boycotted by the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom by refusing to send high-ranking officials and heads of state to the Games opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has for years attempted to separate sports from politics, claiming the neutrality of the Games and stressing that some political challenges are intractable, while the Olympics must continue to be held.
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