20 November 2020
Stanislav Pozdnyakov met with the delegation of NOC Syria
On November 19, the Russian Olympic Committee hosted a working meeting between the President of the ROC Stanislav Pozdnyakov and the delegation of NOC Syria, headed by the President of the organization Feras Mouala.
Welcoming the guests, Stanislav Pozdnyakov noted that since the start of the pandemic, which seriously limited the possibility of personal meetings at the international level, the Syrian delegation was the first to pay a friendly visit to the ROC headquarters on Luzhnetskaya Embankment.
During the conversation, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee also wished success to the Syrian men’s basketball team, which has been staying in Kazan since October 22, where it is preparing for the qualifying continental tournament.
“One of the aspects of our cooperation is the sports bases, where the athletes of your country could train in full and get the necessary practice. While the process of restoring Syria’s sports infrastructure is underway, we, on our part, are ready to offer to use the opportunities of our country,” said Stanislav Pozdnyakov. “Furthermore, the Russian International Olympic University is still actively conducting educational activities. More than 50 representatives of the NOCs from other countries received trainings at this university, having improved their skills in various areas.”
The President of the Syrian Olympic Committee Feras Mouala agreed that the Russian infrastructure was ideal for training Syrian teams and athletes. He also noted the high level of sports medicine in Russia and expressed the hope that the delegation of NOC Syria would be able to get acquainted with Russian achievements in this area.
“We know that the Russian Olympic movement is under great pressure from those circles that would like to cast a shadow on the great achievements of your sport,” stated Feras Mouala. “Russian representatives often run for leadership positions in international sports federations. You are not just a friendly state for us, you are our brothers-in-arms.”
Afterwards, the head of the Syrian NOC invited Stanislav Pozdnyakov to visit Damascus as soon as epidemiological conditions allow it.
The ROC President assured his colleague that he would consider the possibility of meeting in the Syrian capital. And he expressed his belief that “constructive cooperation between representatives of our sports federations can become the basis for long-term relations.”
“In regard to the political undertones, I can say that, firstly, the Russian Federation is not a country that can be manipulated by this kind of pressure,” said Stanislav Pozdnyakov. “And, secondly, the greatest advantage of sport is its unifying role in relations between nations and peoples. I am sure that by relentlessly following this principle, we will be able to achieve constructive cooperation not only with our friends, but also with our current opponents.”
During the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of physical culture and sport was signed between the National Olympic Committee of Syria and the Olympic Council of the Republic of Tatarstan (Russian Federation). The document was signed by Feras Moualla and the Chairman of the Olympic Council of the Republic of Tatarstan Marat Bariev. It will become part of a comprehensive agreement between the NOCs of Russia and Syria, which is already being drafted.
After Moscow, the Syrian delegation is due to visit Kazan for three days.
“We will present all the capabilities of Kazan’s infrastructure for organizing training in numerous sports,” said Marat Bariev. “You are welcome to use them, including for preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. In addition, we will visit the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism, where Syrian specialists can improve their skills and qualifications. We also plan to showcase Russian infrastructure and resources available for training national teams, including in the field of sports medicine.”