Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has claimed that the BRICS Games are "no alternative" to the Olympics and says his country plans to compete at Paris 2024 ©YouTube

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has insisted that the BRICS Games are "no substitute" to the Olympics and claims that sport "loses" by not staging international events in his country.

Matytsin spoke about Russia’s plans to hold the BRICS Games next year during a six-minute speech at the seventh edition of the International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport (MINEPS VII) here.

It was announced last week that the new multi-sport event is scheduled to be held in the Russian city of Kazan in June next year - just one month before the Olympics are due to open in Paris.

The Games are expected to feature member nations of BRICS - a political alliance comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has admitted he fears international sport will turn into the "Games of Political Bloc A" and the "Games of Political Bloc B" as he slammed Russia for "shamelessly trying to put together fully politicised sport competition".

IOC President Thomas Bach has criticised Russia for
IOC President Thomas Bach has criticised Russia for "shamelessly trying to put together fully politicised sport competition" ©Getty Images

Matytsin stressed that the BRICS Games was not a rival to the Olympics when addressing Sports Ministers from across the world at the UNESCO Global Sports Conference MINEPS VII.

"We consider that the Olympic Games have no alternative and the Games that that I have just mentioned are not a substitute for the Olympic Games," said Matytsin.

"We do not, in organising other events, violate the integrity of these Games in any way.

"We support open, honest and free sports activities for all.

"As the wonderful Nelson Mandela said, 'Sport can create hope where there was only despair'.

"Today, we need to stand side by side in supporting one another through sport.

"We need to ensure that the solidarity of the international sports community is supported.

"We need to support the values of sport and ensure that sport is, so to speak, a place where we can create a united team of states."

Matytsin also revealed that Russia was also planning to participate at Paris 2024, although a decision on the participation of athletes from his country has yet to be made by the IOC.

Russian and Belarusian athletes had been largely frozen out of international sport following IOC recommendations in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The IOC Executive Board ruled in March that competitors from Russia and Belarus should be allowed to compete, provided they do not support the war in Ukraine and are not affiliated with the military.

But the banning of the Russian and Belarus flag, symbols and nation anthem remain in place, while it is also recommended by the IOC that sporting events are not held in the two countries.

Matytsin reiterated his opposition to restrictions imposed against his country in sport.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin praised for International Federation for allowing athletes from his country to participate, insisting that sport is
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin praised for International Federation for allowing athletes from his country to participate, insisting that sport is "not an arena for political games" ©IJF

"We are coming up against some extreme threats in particular a flouting of principles of equality in sport and a segregation of athletes depending on their nationality and passport," said Matytsin.

"Ministers of Sport are very important in this area.

"They need to do everything they can to ensure that sport brings people together from across the world and is not an arena for political games."

Matytsin argued that Russia has "no enemies or unfriendly states" in sport and was in support of "mutually respectful dialogue with our partners".

"Russia has always been a reliable partner for the international sports community, we have held a number of important events in the sports field," he added.

"Sport loses from not organising sports events in Russia and not cooperating with Russian athletes and allowing them to be involved in international contests.

"We are willing to partake in constructive dialogue with our partners.

"We consider that sport should be independent, and sport should not be politicised.

"I would like to thank all those organisations that are trying to work with athletes and include Russian athletes.

"We hope that they will set an example with our colleagues."