Kazan is interested in hosting an inaugural SCO Games ©Getty Images

The Russian city of Kazan has declared its interest in hosting an inaugural Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Games.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin wants to host an inaugural multi-sport event for member states of the SCO, which is a political, economic, international security and defence organisation.

Russia is joined by China, India, Pakistan and the Central Asian former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the SCO, and Iran is its most recent full member.

Proposals for an SCO Games emerged after Russia and its ally Belarus were largely frozen out of international sport following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had recommended the non-participation of athletes from both countries, but earlier this week updated its recommendations to clear the way for Individual Neutral Athletes to compete provided they do not support the invasion of Ukraine and are not affiliated to the military.

It has been stressed by the IOC that it has not taken a final decision on Russian and Belarusian athletes' involvement at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Plans for an SCO Games were advanced at a meeting in India's capital New Delhi earlier this month, and Russia also hopes to stage events with BRICS partners Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

Tatarstan's Minister of Sports Vladimir Leonov has revealed that the Republic's capital Kazan wants to host a sport event.

Plans are advancing for sports events for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation nations ©Getty Images
Plans are advancing for sports events for Shanghai Cooperation Organisation nations ©Getty Images

"Now we are putting together a scheme for competitions," he told Russia's official state news agency TASS.

"In general, we are still working with the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation to host either the BRICS Games or the SCO Games.

"We are interested in holding such complex competitions.

"If the international agenda develops as it is now, then we will definitely come up with something."

Kazan has already been named host for the 2024 Games of the Future esports event, and has hosted major events including matches at the men's 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2013 Summer Universiade and 2015 World Aquatics Championships.

The IOC has maintained sanctions on Russia and Belarus including a ban on both countries hosting sports events.

Its move to allow a return of athletes has proved controversial.

Ukraine's Government warned it would boycott any Paris 2024 qualifiers where Russian athletes are competing, while Russia is unhappy about the conditions for its athletes to compete.

IOC President Thomas Bach yesterday slammed European Governments who have criticised its stance on Russia and Belarus, describing their opposition as "deplorable".