The Azerbaijani team will not compete at the continental championship due to an incident at the opening ceremony.
We will remind, during the solemn event the flag of Azerbaijan was burned.
The Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan issued a joint statement on this matter.
«At the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championship in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, on April 14, 2023, one of the officially accredited persons demonstratively set fire to the flag of Azerbaijan.
The commission of such a barbaric act at a ceremony in which the Prime Minister of Armenia also took part, and the support of the Armenian public for this act, as well as the presentation of the person who committed it as a hero, is a clear indicator of ethnic hatred, racism, xenophobia in this country . Moreover, it is completely contrary to the noble purpose and principles of sport, which promotes friendship between peoples and mutual understanding.
Given such an atmosphere of hatred in Armenia, psychological pressure in the conditions of lack of security, normal participation of Azerbaijani athletes is impossible. With this in mind, a decision was made to return them to their homeland.
We call on the European Weightlifting Federation to impose sanctions on Armenia.
We believe that this incident shows that Armenia does not have the right to hold international sports competitions and is not able to ensure the safety of athletes“, it is said in statement Azerbaijan.
Earlier we wrote that Ukrainian athletes are prohibited from participating in the same competitions with teams from Russia and Belarus.