IESF issues statement following controversy over Russia’s return to competition

Last week we were informing you that the August 28th, the Russian Esports Federation published a statement.in which it commented that a meeting together with the International Esports Federation (IESF). At this meeting, the IESF would have voted in favor of allowing Russian players to compete. under the name of their country and flag. The communiqué also stated that 32 delegates voted in favor of reinstatement, 13 against and 25 abstained.

The passage of this measure has caused quite a bit of controversy, as contingents from Ukraine and other regions have publicly condemned the move by the federation and the members who voted in favor. The Ukrainian national CS:GO and Dota 2 teams publicly communicated their withdrawal from the IESF World Esports Championship 2023. in protest of the vote, condemning the IESF’s decision.

But this is not all, on Friday, September 1, 13 federations and associations joined together with the Ukrainian Federation to oppose the IESF decision, including the Esports Federations of Armenia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, the French Video Games Federation, the Esports Associations of Iceland, Lithuania and Malta, and the Esports Wales organization.

After a silence from the IESF, finally on Saturday, September 2, issued a communiqué official press release entitled. “Facts concerning the GMO 2023 decision and Russian/Ukrainian participation.”where it is firm in all those democratic processes that are held. This statement reads as follows:

The International Esports Federation, which brings together 140 national federations, held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Iasi (Romania) on August 28, during the finals of the 15th World Esports Championship.

110 National Federations actively participated in the AGM, discussing the agenda consisting of 44 motions that were put to vote. One of the motions submitted by the Russian Esports Federation was to allow future participation of athletes from Russia in 2024 to play under their national flag and anthem.

No Russian team was present this year at the World Championship, and no Russian delegates were present at the AGM.

After expressing their views, the 70 members in attendance held a democratic vote, which resulted in votes against, 32 in favor and 25 abstentions.

Representatives of the Ukrainian Esports Federation did not accept the outcome of the vote and declined to meet with the IESF leadership to discuss options to help them in this difficult situation. The decision will take effect for next year’s World Esports Championship, scheduled for the end of 2024.

The IESF team and the Athletes’ Committee set out to help and support all Ukrainian players, as athletes are the essence of the IESF. Ukrainian teams achieved good results in the tournament. In CS:GO, they qualified for the semifinal.

With the interests of the athletes at its core, the IESF Athletes’ Committee did its best to mitigate the unfortunate situation of the Ukrainian players and the Ukrainian Esports Federation, who informed the IESF that they would withdraw their teams from this year’s competition.

The IESF strongly condemns all war, hatred, political intervention and discrimination. Sport provides us with a unique platform for peace building and prevention of future conflicts. We hope that all members of the World Esports Family will use this platform for positive change and embody the values of respect, unity and friendship.

The IESF will continue to strive for peace and unity while standing firm in all democratic processes within the organization and, above all, supporting and protecting the athletes.

We do not know if this case will be closed after this communiqué or if there will be any new movement. The only thing that has been commented on is that the UESF has promised to challenge this decision in court..

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