Esport to allow Russian competitors to fly their flag

Drx Chanel, Knee and Kdf Ulsan of South Korea team compete in the ‘Tekken 7’ Nations Cup Playoffs against USA during the Esports Tournaments and Gaming Festivals Gamers8 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, July 8, 2023. (Yazed Aldhawaihi, EPA-EFE/File)

MOSCOW, Russia – The Russian esports federation said on Monday that the International Esport Federation (IESF) had decided to reinstate its competitors and allow them to use the national flag and anthem.

“The Russian national computer sports team will once again be able to take part in competitions under its own flag and name,” the Russian statement said.

The IESF is holding its world championships in Iasi, Romania.

According to the Russian statement, it also held a vote in which 32 delegates voted in favor of reinstatement, while 13 voted against and 25 abstained.

“Sport must unite, and any form of discrimination against athletes on national or other grounds is unacceptable. We are therefore pleased to have been able to overturn the previous decision,” Dmitri Smit, president of Russian esports, said in the press release.

The IESF president, Vlad Marinescu, a Romanian-American, is also director general of the International Judo Federation (IJF).

Ukraine boycotted the judo world championships in Qatar in May after the IJF allowed Russian and Belarusian judokas to compete, saying that many of the Russian entrants had military connections. (Agence France-Presse)