FIVB proceeding with world championship in Russia 'as planned'

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BERLIN, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Preparations for the men's world championship to be held in Russia in August are on track and are proceeding as planned despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the international volleyball federation (FIVB) said on Friday.

Russia is set to host the world championships from Aug. 26-Sept. 11, with group matches held across several cities and the final round of games in Moscow.

"The FIVB is working in close collaboration with the Russian volleyball federation and organising committee Volleyball 2022 in preparation for various volleyball and beach volleyball events set to be held in the country which are progressing as planned," the FIVB told Reuters in a statement.

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"While the FIVB believes that sport should always remain separate from politics, we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants at our events which is our top priority."

It did not say, when asked, whether there would be any sanctions for the Russian volleyball federation.

Several other sporting events, including the Champions League final in soccer, have been moved away from Russia in response to Russia's invasion.

The Champions League final will now be played in Paris, European soccer's governing body UEFA said earlier on Friday.

Russia launched its invasion by land, air and sea on Thursday following a declaration of war by President Vladimir Putin. An estimated 100,000 people have fled as explosions and gunfire rocked major cities. Dozens have been reported killed.

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Reporting by Karolos Grohmann Editing by Christian Radnedge

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