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Up to 40 countries could boycott Games, says Poland sports minister

Up to 40 countries could boycott Games, says Poland sports minister
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Friday, 03 February, 2023, 14:12

Up to 40 countries could boycott the next Olympic Games, making the whole event pointless, said Poland's sport and tourism minister Kamil Bortniczuk.

His comments came after Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia jointly rejected an International Olympic Committee (IOC) plan to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete in 2024.

Ukraine has threatened to boycott the Paris Olympics if that occurs.

But the IOC said on Thursday that any boycott would only "punish athletes".

Bortniczuk said he believed it would be possible to build a coalition of 40 countries, including Great Britain, the United States and Canada, to support a block on the IOC's plans before a meeting on 10 February.

He added: "Considering this I don't think we will face tough decisions before the Olympics and, if we were to boycott the Games, the coalition we will be a part of will be broad enough to make holding the Games pointless."