FINA has announced the cancellation of the 2022 World Junior Swimming Championships that were scheduled to be held from August 23-28 in Kazan, Russia as a result of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine. FINA is looking for a replacement host for the event.
“FINA remains extremely concerned with the continuing war in Ukraine and following ongoing consultation with athletes and stakeholders from the aquatics family, FINA can now confirm that the 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships (23 – 28 August) is cancelled and FINA will not be holding any future events in Russia if this grave crisis continues,” the statement reads.
“FINA reiterates its pledge to provide whatever practical support it can to members of the Aquatics family who are impacted by this situation and expresses its deepest sympathies and support to the people of Ukraine.”
The organization did not simultaneously announce the cancellation of the World Short Course Swimming Championships that are scheduled for December in Kazan, but did say that if the “grave crisis” in Ukraine continues, that they won’t hold any future events there.
After federations and athletes from around the world called for the event to be removed from Russia, the onus will be on the world’s community to step in to the hosting role.
FINA’s actions mirror most other international sporting federations that have removed events from Russia in light of the government’s invasion of Ukraine. The FINA move stopped short of meeting the requested demands by several European federations, including Ukraine, to block athletes and sports officials from participating in international competition.
In an unusual move, the International Olympic Committee last week urged all international sports federations to pull events from Russia and Belarus, though they stopped short of asking for suspensions of athletes. At least three European nations, Poland, Sweden, and Czech Republic, have refused to play against Russia in Men’s Football World Cup qualifying matches, while the UK pulled visas from the Belarusian Men’s Basketball Team.