The Pilsen beer producer has been supporting the Czech Olympic team since 2001. As an official partner, the contract is valid until next year. His attitude can thus play an important role.
“Since the beginning of the conflict, we have clearly defined ourselves. They supported a number of humanitarian activities. They stopped exporting our products to Russia and Belarus. In the current situation, we cannot imagine that athletes from these countries would participate in the 2024 Olympics. We are negotiating with the WWTP,” the company said on Twitter.
If we can answer here as well… From the beginning of the conflict, we clearly defined ourselves. They supported a number of humanitarian activities. They stopped exporting our products to Russia and Belarus. In the current situation, we cannot imagine that athletes from these countries would participate in the 2024 Olympics. We are negotiating with the WWTP.
— Pilsner Urquell (@pilsnerurquell) February 10, 2023
And she immediately received a wave of praise. “Thank you for your support, I just bought a whole bass of beers today,” commented one of the users. People also called on other big sponsors Toyota, Alpine Pro or T-Mobile to take action. They are still waiting, the mobile operator just commented, that he supports the position of the WWTP regarding the sanctions of Russian and Belarusian competitors.
It remains to be seen whether other partners will move towards sharper definitions. However, it can be expected that at least Pilsner Urquell will want to hear a fundamental statement so that the Czech Republic will support a possible boycott of the Olympic Games in Paris.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on other countries to do the same. “The mere presence of representatives of the terrorist state is a manifestation of violence and injustice. And it cannot be covered up with some pretended neutrality or a white flag,” he declared at the online summit of sports ministers. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland have already taken a similarly strong stance. According to Polish Minister of Sports Kamil Bortniczuk, up to 40 countries could boycott the Olympics.
Although the Czech Republic is also against the participation of the war aggressor, it did not dare to threaten with a boycott. The WWTP, which receives 138 million CZK annually from the state, said that it would leave the decision to international sports federations and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, IOC President Thomas Bach even called for Ukraine to stop threatening boycotts.