In this piece, your ultimate soccer blog, FootballOrbit, brings you all the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on football.
On the Thursday 24th of February 2022, shockwaves was sent around the world when Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia’s action was widely condemned throughout the world and the football world wasn’t left out.
Numerous reactions emanated from the soccer sphere, ranging from FIFA and UEFA’s ban on the Russian national team and clubs, to fans, players, coaches and clubs showing their solidarity with Ukraine, clubs terminating their sponsorship deals with Russian brands, and Roman Abramovich putting Chelsea FC up for sale.
In this piece, your ultimate soccer blog FootballOrbit, brings you all the impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on football.
Unsurprisingly, the first reaction to the invasion was suspension of all football activities in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Premier League has been postponed indefinitely.
The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League final which was initially scheduled to be played in Russia, has been moved to the Stade de France in Paris, France. The Champions League final will take place on the 28th of May 2022.
On the 28th of February 2022, FIFA and UEFA banned Russian clubs and the Russian national team from their competitions. This came after the Polish, Czech and Swedish national teams announced that they will not play against Russia in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Spartak Moscow which is the only remaining Russian team in UEFA competitions was suspended from the Europa League. Russia will not participate at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Also it won’t play in the UEFA Nations League.
Manchester United have also decided to part ways with their official aircraft partners Aeroloft — a Russian aviation company.
Schalke 04 have cut ties with their shirt sponsor Gazprom — which is a Russian national energy company. They have also asked Gazprom officials who are members of the club’s board to step down.
In a similar vein, UEFA has also severed its $45m a year partnership with Gazprom.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is reputed to be a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been pressured to put the club up for sale. Abramovich had come under pressure to publicly disavow himself from Putin or face sanctions from the U.K. government. Speaking under parliamentary privilege, Chris Bryant, chair of the All Party Parliamentary group on Russia, had warned that the Chelsea owner was looking to sell assets before action was taken against him. “The danger is that Mr. Abramovich will have sold everything by the time we get round to sanctioning him,” Bryant said on Tuesday.
Everton have cut all their sponsorship deals with Alisher Usmonov, who like Abramovich, is believed to be a close ally of Putin.
Adidas have ended their sponsorship ties with the Russian Football Federation and Russian national teams.
Furthermore, Belarus, whose President Alexander Lukashenko, is a friend of Vladimir Putin, and has supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been facing sanctions and bans like Russia. UEFA announced that all matches involving Belarusian clubs and the national team will be played at neutral venues and without spectators.
World Rugby have banned Russian and Belarusian teams from participating in international and inter-border Rugby games.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) have also banned both Russian and Belarusian teams from competing in its organised tournaments.
Formula 1 has severed ties with the Russian Grand Pix and cancelled its upcoming events in Russia. Russian Formula 1 drivers have been banned from competing in the UK.
Other sports who have banned Russia so far are: Basketball, Cycling, Swimming, Athletics, Rowing, Volleyball, Archery, Badminton, Boxing and Gymnastics.