How the football world reacted to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

by Aiden Daries

The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia has caused an uproar across the football world, which has seen many footballing bodies unite against the country of Russia and boycott various Russian sporting teams.

The attack of Ukraine by Russian military forces has caused a ripple effect in the sporting world. Evidence of this was a British Labour MP calling for Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, to sell the football club as part of the British government’s sanctions against Russia. There was word of Abramovich’s involvement and supposed support of Russian president, Vladimir Putin, but this was proven to be false. Recently, Abramovich has put the club he has been owner of since 2003, up for sale. Many believe the reason for this is because the Russian billionaire is afraid of being sanctioned.

Brazilian footballers who resided in Ukraine appealed, in a video message, to the government of Brazil asking them for assistance with leaving the now war-torn country. All 14 Brazilian players have recently arrived in their native land with the help of the Brazilian embassy in Ukraine.

The Czech, Swedish and Polish Football Authorities have all expressed that they will refuse to play their World Cup playoffs in Russia. The Czech Republic Football Authority made the following statement: “The Czech FA executive committee, staff members and players of the national team agreed it’s not possible to play against the Russian National Team in the current situation”.

The Champions League final that was scheduled to be played in St Petersburg, Russia has been moved to Paris and is now due to be held in the Stade de France.

Manchester United Football Club has parted ways with Russian airline, Aeroflot after putting out a statement in which they highlight their full support for Ukraine and condemn any violence in Russia.

Manchester United’s now-former airline partner, Aeroflot. Photo by Footy Headlines.

The English FA has said that they will not play Russia at any footballing level as they, “wholeheartedly condemn the atrocities being committed by the Russian leadership”.

The Russian National Team and all Russian clubs, both men and women, have been banned by FIFA and UEFA in light of the invasion in Ukraine. Russia will however appeal these bans and in a statement said that they would initiate a lawsuit against the football bodies.

Everton Football Club has since suspended all partnership deals with Russian companies USM, Yota and Megafon until further notice.

EA Sports has also announced that they would be removing all Russian club and the Russian national teams from its FIFA 22 video game. The video game publisher stated, “EA Sports has initiated processes to remove the Russian national team and all Russian clubs from EA Sports FIFA products including FIFA 22, FIFA Mobile and FIFA Online”.

German football club, Schalke, has announced the removal of Russian shirt sponsor, Gazprom from its shirt.

These are just some of the measures being taken by the football community following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It would be no surprise to see many more of these measures being taken in the following weeks to come.

“Schalke 04” emblazed on the club’s shirt after parting ways with former sponsor Gazprom. Photo by AS English.

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