The Russian energy company Gazprom is one of the sponsors of the Sarajevo Half Marathon, which is being held on September 18th.
It will not be the first time that a Russian company sponsors this sports event. The biggest sponsor was the Russian Sberbank, after which the half marathon was named until this year.
What do the marathon organizers say about the Russian sponsor?
Alija Imamovic, one of the organizers of the marathon and among the best marathoners from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), says that the organization is not cheap.
”We are a sports association and we are not interested in politics. Sport should contribute to regulating everything, to be the best side. It is bad that in some countries, including BiH, politics interfers in sports. That is why our situation is the way it is,” Imamovic stated.
A Russian marathon runner will also run in Sarajevo
This year, Ivan Dragar from Croatia, Stanly Kipruto from Kenya, Olivera Jevtic from Serbia, and Emir Hastor, BiH marathon champion, registered for the half marathon in Sarajevo. A Russian marathon runner sent in an application as well.
”Ivan Bubnov is coming from Russia this year, who has really remarkable results and won second place at the Sarajevo Half Marathon last year,” Imamovic announced.
Bubnov is a frequent guest at (half) marathons in the region. He won 7th place at the Split Marathon on February 27th of this year. In November of last year, Bubnov was first in the Podgorica Half Marathon and runner-up in the Millennium Run held twenty days later in the same city.
BiH’s football players should go to Russia?
The BiH National Football Team was criticized for announcing that it would play a friendly match against Russia.
”Sarajevo, as the city that was under siege by the aggressors for the longest time, and I, as the mayor, strongly condemn the football association’s decision to play a friendly match with Russia,” said Sarajevo mayor Benjamina Karic on Twitter.
Due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24th, the Russian national team and all football clubs, men’s and women’s, have been suspended from FIFA and UEFA competitions, Radio Slobodna Evropa reports.