JJIF statement regarding the participation of athletes

JJIF issued a statement on 6th March 2022 on Russia’s war in Ukraine where JJIF at the end stated that it will continue to monitor the situation, will remain in contact with IOC and may adapt its measures according to future developments. JJIF hereby makes the following updated statement.

The basic principles expressed by the Ju-Jitsu International Federation are the avoidance of any form of violence, the calm and reasonable treatment and resolution of any disputes or conflicts by means of civilized dialogue and the respect to humankind, to society and to nature.

JJIF condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as any form of violence by one country on another country especially with military actions. Governments of the world have been and are striving and hoping for successful negotiations that would allow to stop the violence against innocent people. But the war is still on for 7 months now and many innocent people are still dying and suffering immensely every second of this unreasonable war. Behind any war there are persons who are responsible and liable for the start of the war and they must be isolated and punished.

JJIF Board as part of the Olympic Movement has been monitoring and following very carefully the situation in sports caused by the Russia’s War in Ukraine. It has also duly considered the   IOC recommendations and statements.

JJIF has adopted the IOC recommendations of 28 February 2022:

“The Olympic Movement is united in its mission to contribute to peace through sport and to unite the world in peaceful competition beyond all political disputes.

JJIF World and Continental Championships and other regional Ju-Jitsu events as well multisport events “unite athletes of countries which are in confrontation and sometimes even war.”

In fairness, JJIF does not want “to punish athletes [collectively] for the decisions of their government, if they are not actively participating in them.” Thus, we cannot equate the crimes and atrocities committed by governments with the athletes collectively.

“We are committed to fair competition for everybody without any discrimination.”

More recently the President of IOC, Mr Bach has stated that Our task in such a situation would actually be to bring the athletes together and to show that there is also peaceful competition.”. President Bach also warned that national Governments or event organisers should not be restricting these athletes, who are authorised to compete by the International Federation.

Mr Bach added:
“But here we are in a situation where some governments have made the decisions about who can and cannot enter an international competition. This is totally against our rules and against our mission. You know exactly how tense and how confrontational the geopolitical situation is, not only with regard to Russia and Belarus. Governments will decide tomorrow, the athletes from this or that country are not welcome either. Then the sport would be part of the sanctions and counter-sanctions system that is very common at the moment.”- Source Insidethegamges.biz, 11 August 2022-.

At the beginning of this war, it was noted that if the above principles were applied, this could result in a situation whereby Russian and Belarusian athletes would be able to participate in sports events, while athletes from Ukraine would be prevented from doing so. This was the dilemma faced by the Olympic Movement which prompted the IOC recommendation not to invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions.  

JJIF’s 6th March 2022 declaration was to the same effect and it was resolved that so long that athletes from Ukraine will not be able to participate in JJIF sports events, athletes from Russia and Belarus would also not be allowed to participate.

JJIF understands that athletes from Ukraine are able to participate in JJIF sports events, even though JJIF fully realises that this is rendered much more difficult as athletes may have much difficulty to train or may be called upon on the warfront.

The JJIF Board has, therefore, carefully considered the current situation and with a view to reconciling the different issues highlighted above, makes the following statements and resolutions:

  1. The JJIF deplores the war taking place in Ukraine and JJIF is in complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Ju-Jitsu Federation (Ju-Jitsu Association of Ukraine). JJIF is committed to help the Ju-Jitsu Association of Ukraine in any way it can for their participation in JJIF sports events.
  2. Athletes and Athletes Support Personnel namely, Coaches or Officials from Russia will be allowed to participate only as neutral athletes and Athletes Support Personnel. No national symbols, colours and flags shall be displayed anywhere be it on gis or sports equipment and the Russian national anthem shall not be played. The Russian Ju-Jitsu Federation shall be registered without any reference to “Russia” be it in full or as an acronym. JJIF shall issue shortly a Regulation detailing the participation of the Russian Federation in the JJIF sports events which shall also deal with any violation of the present resolution. JJIF notes that there is at present no existing Belorussian Ju-Jitsu Federation that is a member of JJIF. Otherwise, the same would have applied to them.
  3. The JJIF and the organizer of any sports event will treat ALL athletes equal and do the best to have fair and safe competition. JJIF will not tolerate violations of sportsmanship and Ju-Jitsu ethics. All participants shall obey the organizer’s hosting country laws and regulations (including visa policy, safety and security concerns etc.) and must know that protesting and social media bashing are strongly prohibited in many countries.
  4. No official from the Russian Ju-Jitsu Federation can take part in any other JJIF events which are not sport events in any capacity or status whatsoever, including but not limited to the JJIF Session or Congress.
  5. JJIF maintains its resolutions made on 6 March 2022 to:
  • Cease and withdraw any function/activity in the JJIF/JJCU government and commissions of all Russian Federation officials;
  • to relocate or cancel all Ju-Jitsu events which may have been planned in Russia or Belarus and not to hold any JJIF events in these countries.

JJIF shall continue to monitor the situation and shall follow closely IOC’s measures and remain in contact with the IOC. JJIF may amend or adapt its measures according to future developments.