FFPF has cancelled the Masters World Championships citing "force majeure" ©Getty Images

The Finnish Fencing and Pentathlon Federation (FFPF) has cancelled the 2022 Masters World Championships, citing coordination issues within the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) as a contributing factor after Committee members resigned from their positions.

These resignations were made by personnel protesting the UIPM's decision not to ban administrators from Russia and Belarus, leading to the axing of the competition in the city of Hämeenlinna.

The UIPM has banned athletes and officials from these countries, but not the likes of its vice-president for business affairs Viacheslav Aminov.

In a letter to UIPM, President Klaus Schormann and UIPM secretary general Shiny Fang, FFPF President Joonas Lyytinen and secretary general Lena Tallroth-Kock outlined the issues with hosting the competition.

Included in the letter were criticisms of the organisation's decision to remove riding and replace it with an unknown fifth discipline.

"A lot has changed in the world and also in the world of pentathlon over the last two years," read the FFPF letter.

"First COVID-19 pandemic, then major changes in pentathlon against the will of the athletes, and now a major war started by Russia in Europe.

"FFPF applied for and prepared for organising fair, cost-efficient and ecological 2022 Masters World Championships in celebration of the 1952 Olympics in Hämeenlinna this summer.

"However, we believe that the recent decisions received from UIPM are not in line with those principles."

It added that holding the event without Ukrainian involvement - due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia - or the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the case of a ceasefire before the scheduled event would be unfair.

FFPF showed solidarity with Ukraine in its cancellation of the Masters World Championships ©Getty Images
FFPF showed solidarity with Ukraine in its cancellation of the Masters World Championships ©Getty Images

Janne Saarikko, chair of the Organising Committee and those on the UIPM Masters Committee met to discuss the difficulties of hosting the event.

Saarikko and members of the Masters Committee later resigned from their posts as a result of the UIPM's position on allowing Russian administrators.

"Coordination needed for the preparation of the Masters World Championships between the organisers and UIPM has thus become almost impossible since effectively the Federation does not have a functioning Masters Committee due to resignations," the letter continued.

"It is practically impossible to organise the event in Hämeenlinna under the current circumstances and these are caused by events beyond the reasonable control of the organiser (force majeure).

"We also see the cancellation as a signal of solidarity in times of war and believe that the UIPM should more carefully listen to the pentathlon community in future."

UIPM cited force majeure in its decision to remove riding as a modern pentathlon discipline without consultation from its members.