From football to F1, Russia stands to lose after invading Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was condemned by the global sporting community on Thursday, with President Vladimir Putin’s country set to lose the hosting rights to the prestigious Champions League final while drivers Formula 1 said it was “wrong” to race there this year.

Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, sea and air on Thursday, with immediate sporting ramifications.

UEFA will no longer host the Champions League final in Saint Petersburg after Russia, AP reported.

An extraordinary meeting of UEFA’s executive committee will be held on Friday to discuss the geopolitical crisis and when officials are expected to confirm the withdrawal of the May 28 showpiece from Russia, a person with knowledge of the process has said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private discussions.

The showpiece match in European club football was due to take place at the Zenit Saint Petersburg stadium, known as Gazprom Arena, after a sponsorship deal with Russia’s state-owned energy company, which also sponsors the Champions League.

“UEFA shares the international community’s grave concern over the developing security situation in Europe and strongly condemns the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine,” the governing body said in a statement.

“We remain resolute in our solidarity with the football community in Ukraine and we are ready to reach out to the people of Ukraine.”

German football club Schalke 04 has a 15-year partnership with Gazprom but said it was removing the company’s logo from its shirt while Matthias Warnig, chief executive of Nord Stream 2 AG, left his post on the board of club administration. Nord Stream 2 AG is owned by Gazprom.

The men’s tennis governing body has said next week’s ATP Challenger event in Moscow will not take place as planned due to player safety concerns and uncertainty over international travel.

“Player safety will remain our top priority in evaluating scheduling for upcoming ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events in the region. We continue to monitor the situation,” the ATP said in a statement.

“I shouldn’t go”

Athletes from a number of sports have also expressed concerns about travel to Russia.

Four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel has said he will not be racing in September’s Grand Prix in Sochi, adding it is “wrong” to race in Russia. World champion Max Verstappen agreed with him.

“My own opinion is that I shouldn’t go there,” Vettel said. “I feel sorry for the innocent people who lose their lives, who get killed for stupid reasons and a very, very strange and crazy direction.”

US Formula One team Haas will strip Russian potash producer Uralkali’s brand from its car and run it in an all-white livery on the final day of testing in Barcelona on Friday, the team announced, following the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.

Haas has been running its cars in a Russian flag livery with Uralkali stickers since last season as part of a title sponsorship deal, which secured funding for the team and saw the company owner and Billionaire Dmitry Mazepin’s son, Nikita, signing up for a racing seat.

The team says the 22-year-old Russian, who races alongside Mick Schumacher and drove the first two days of testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, will take part in the morning session on Friday as scheduled.

“Haas F1 Team will present their VF-22 in a plain white livery, without Uralkali branding, for the third and final day of track racing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday February 25,” the team said in a statement. statement Thursday. .

“Nikita Mazepin will drive as planned in the morning and Mick Schumacher will take over in the afternoon.

“No further comment will be made at this time regarding team partner agreements,” he added.

The sport’s governing body said it was monitoring the situation, but said nothing about the possibility of moving the Russian Grand Prix.

The Olympic truce is broken

The invasion was also condemned by the International Olympic Committee which said the Russian government had violated the Olympic truce currently in place until after the Paralympic Winter Games next month.

Russia has now violated the Olympic truce three times in 14 years.

He fought a war with Georgia over the disputed territory of South Ossetia during the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 and launched a military takeover that annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine after the closure of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

The International Paralympic Committee has condemned Russia and said it has held talks with sports officials in Ukraine, which still plans to compete in Beijing and demands safe passage for its athletes.

“Pray for us”: Blocked in Ukraine

The invasion had an impact on sporting events in Ukraine.

The country’s Premier League football matches have been suspended due to the imposition of martial law, leaving Shakhtar Donetsk’s Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi, his squad and 13 Brazilian players stranded.

“We could have gone home as long as there was security, but instead we waited. Last night the explosions woke us up. This morning they suspended the season,” said De Zerbi at Italpress.

Brazilian-born Ukrainian striker Junior Moraes said they were “prisoners in Kiev” waiting for a solution to get out of the country.

“Pray for us,” he wrote on Instagram.

“No war in Ukraine”

In the Europa League on Thursday, Ukrainian international Ruslan Malinovskyi unveils a shirt under his jersey after scoring the first of his two goals for Atalanta against Olympiacos on which one could read “No war in Ukraine”.

The 28-year-old midfielder’s powerful statement came in the 66th minute of the game.

Malinovskyi’s Ukrainian national team-mate Roman Yaremchuk had made a gesture of support for their homeland in the Champions League on Wednesday when he showed the nation’s coat of arms during a goal celebration.

military climbing

A joint statement from the football associations of Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic called for next month’s World Cup play-offs not to be played in Russia.

“The signatories of this appeal do not plan to travel to Russia and play football matches there,” the statement said.

“The military escalation we are witnessing is causing serious consequences and significantly reduced security for our national football teams and official delegations.”

Poland are due to play in Russia on March 24 and the winners will host either Sweden or the Czechs five days later.

EuroLeague Basketball, which has teams from several countries including Russia, said competition would continue as planned unless government decisions prevent matches from taking place.

Bayern Munich have said their EuroLeague game against CSKA Moscow has been postponed.

World Athletics condemned the Russian invasion and said President Sebastian Coe had contacted Senior Vice President Sergey Bubka and the Ukrainian Athletics Federation to offer their support.

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