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Azerbaijan slams flag burning at weightlifting event in Armenia | Sports News

Azerbaijan withdraws its athletes from the European Weightlifting Championships right after the Azeri flag was burned throughout the opening ceremony.

Azerbaijan says it has withdrawn its athletes from the European Weightlifting Championships hosted in the capital of rival Armenia just after a flag-burning incident in the course of the opening ceremony.

Azerbaijan reported it had come to be unachievable for its athletes to get portion in the championships and they had previously still left Armenia to travel home by means of Georgia.

Online video of the incident on Saturday confirmed a person snatching the flag and setting it alight, prompting an offended joint assertion by Azerbaijan’s youth and sports ministry and its Nationwide Olympic Committee.

They condemned it as a “barbaric act” and as proof of ethnic hatred and racism, indicating Armenia was unfit to assure the protection of athletes and host worldwide sporting functions.

“In conditions when these an ambiance of hatred prevails in Armenia, security is not ensured, the ordinary participation of Azerbaijani athletes in competitions is difficult due to the psychological stress,” the statement claimed.

“Politicising sport is unquestionably unacceptable,” it additional, urging the European Weightlifting Federation to impose sanctions on Armenia.

Armenia rejected that criticism, expressing the incident experienced been fixed rapidly and without having any hazard to competitors at the championships.

“The incident that occurred during the opening ceremony, which was settled incredibly promptly, has practically nothing to do with guarantees of basic safety of the athletes,” it stated.

Russia’s RIA Novosti information agency mentioned Armenian police briefly detained the man dependable and quoted his lawyers as saying he was introduced with no charge.

The two nations around the world have experienced hostile relations considering that the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, of which they have been each element.

Because that time, they have fought two important wars more than Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave that is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians. 7 soldiers ended up killed in fighting within just the earlier week.