SCO Ministerial: Russia proposes to host maiden SCO Games

Russia’s sports minister has suggested that his country should host the first games of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Member States (SCO).

The proposal was made by Oleg Matytsin at this week’s meeting of the heads of ministries in charge of development of physical education and sports in the SCO. The meeting brought together officials from sports ministries and agencies from Russia, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

“Sports cooperation in the SCO region has a rich potential and develops in the spirit of true partnership, mutual respect and absence of any form of discrimination,” said Matytsin.

“The Meeting of SCO Sports Ministers is held for the second time, and it is a platform for direct and open dialogue. Our common task is to ensure that athletes and major international competitions do not become the object of political games,” the Russian minister said. “This is possible only on condition of equality and respect among all participants. I propose to counteract these destructive trends and jointly form common legal and political mechanisms to protect the rights of athletes in the SCO region.”

Matytsin stressed that Russia’s experience in hosting major international sporting events will enable the SCO athletes of any level and format to compete. “We suggest considering the venue of the Russian Federation as a possible host country for the SCO Games in coordination with the SCO chair country for the next calendar period,” Matytsin said.

The SCO meeting discussed the possibility of establishing the Association of SCO Sports Organisations. The initiative was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the SCO Summit in Samarkand last year.

“The Association may be focused on strengthening ties in development of Olympic, non-Olympic, Paralympic and national sports. The Association will promote sports events among the SCO member states,” the minister said. “The Russian side has drafted Regulations for the Working Group, which is needed to deepen cooperation in sports within the SCO. This may be a standing body responsible, among other things, for the preparation and staging of sporting events such as the SCO Games.”Matytsin also invited the delegations of the meeting’s participants to take part in the sports and official events held in Russia. “We suggest considering the venue of the Russian Federation as a possible host country for the SCO Games in coordination with the SCO Chair country for the next calendar period,” said Matytsin, who met his Indian counterpart, Anurag Singh Thakur, to discuss bilateral cooperation.

The Russian minister also invited the delegations of the meeting’s participants to take part in the sports and official events held in Russia–the International University Sports Festival in Yekaterinburg, to be held in 2023; the Games of the Future in Kazan, in 2024; the International Festival of National and Non-Olympic Sports and the World Martial Arts Games, in 2023; Kazan Summit 2023 and International Forum “Russia – is a Sport Power”, Perm, 2023.

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