"To be banned for 100 years? It's not possible": Russian Olympic champion says UEFA would "gladly" return Russians
Olympic champion Svetlana Zhurova has complained about the allegedly unfair suspension of Russian athletes from international competitions. The former speed skater noted that, in particular, the European Football Union (UEFA) wants to return Russian representatives to its competitions, but faces political pressure.
Zhurova said this in an interview with the propaganda news agency TASS. The State Duma deputy and ardent supporter of Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin expressed the absurd idea that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president Thomas Bach support the Russians.
"Thomas Bach also says this, threatening to stop putting pressure on them, that they have done everything possible. What else do they want? That the Russians should be banned for a hundred years to come? That's too much to ask for. They will soon cancel the handshake, and something else. This is not the way to go. There are a lot of people in UEFA who would love to change everything, but they don't have that opportunity because they are really under a lot of pressure from sponsors and everyone else," Zhurova said.
Earlier, UEFA President Alexander Čeferin called Russian football players victims of their country's military aggression and complained about pressure from Ukrainians.
Last year, UEFA tried to return the Russian youth national team to the European Championship qualifying tournament, but faced a stiff rebuff from various countries. More than a dozen federations announced a boycott of the match with the team from the aggressor country. After that, UEFA reversed its decision.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, UEFA President Alexander Čeferin has expressed admiration for Olympic champion Pavel Kolobkov's desire to return Russians to tournaments.