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World Esports Body Suspends Russia Over Offices in Occupied Ukraine

Cybersports Festival at VDNKh in Moscow. Yaroslav Chingaev / Moskva News Agency

The International Esports Federation (IESF) announced Thursday it was suspending the Russian esports governing body over claims by Kyiv that it has established offices in occupied Ukrainian territories.

IESF said it made the decision after reviewing evidence provided by both the Russian Esports Federation (RESF) and its Ukrainian counterpart, UESF. 

It did not specify when and where in Ukraine RESF is believed to have set up its offices.

“After careful consideration of the facts, the IESF Board conveyed a secret ballot and decided to suspend the RESF’s good standing,” the world body said in a statement.

“IESF strongly condemns all war, hate, political interventions and discrimination,” it added.

RESF’s suspension will remain in effect until all 140 members of IESF decide to either fully suspend or reinstate the Russian organization at an upcoming general assembly of the international body.

The date of the assembly has not yet been announced.

IESF said Russian esports athletes will be able to participate in competitions “under neutral conditions” and represented by the IESF flag. The next World Esports Championship is scheduled for November.

RESF has not commented on its suspension.

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