During an Ordinary General Meeting of the International Esports Federation (IESF) held on the 28th of August in Iasi, Romania, the members of the IESF voted on a motion presented by the Russian Esports Federation.
The motion from the Russian Esports Federation asked members to cancel the previous sanctions imposed on the Russian Esports Federation by an Extraordinary General Meeting of the IESF which took place in April 2022, which allowed Russian players to participate in the World Esports Championship, however without displaying Russian flags.
The motion by the Russian Esports Federation passed with 32 votes in favour, 13 against, and 25 abstentions. The Malta Esports Association is an Associate Member of the IESF, and not a Full Member. Therefore, the Malta Esports Association was not eligible to vote on this motion.
We truly believe that politics should be set aside in esports. It is true that in many cases, esports players from Russia have no association with the invasion of Ukraine. However, the reports of activities by the Russian Esports Federation in occupied territories are concerning. In light of this, we believe the IESF should follow the guidelines of the International Olympic Committee.
The decision of the IESF was taken through a democratic vote. However, we cannot fail to react in something that goes against our values. The Malta Esports Association joins twelve other federations condemning this decision.
We also stand with Ukrainian members of our community who are in Malta as refugees, or whose lives were in any way impacted by the war.