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Ukraine wants to keep Russia out of the World Cup finals, UEFA meets in emergency meeting

Ukraine wants to keep Russia out of the World Cup finals, UEFA meets in emergency meeting


The conflict between Russia and Ukraine also extended to football. The Ukrainian Football Association wants to ban Russia from participating in international tournaments. Contracts with Russian sponsors are also at risk.

Coen van Ouetvang

The Ukrainian Football Federation has asked the world and European football federations to exclude the Russian national team and clubs from Russia from international competitions. UEFA expressed its full support to the Ukrainian people and the football community in an official statement. The UEFA Board of Directors will meet in an emergency session today. At first, UEFA was silent, but in the meantime, the Champions League final was not scheduled to take place on May 28 in Saint Petersburg. This should be officially confirmed today. The location of next year’s European Super Cup, which is planned in Kazan, Russia, is also in doubt.

However, it remains to be seen how the fate of the Russian national team will be. Next month, Russia will play the playoffs to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. Those matches take place in Moscow. First, Russia will face Poland, and if it wins, it will play against Sweden or the Czech Republic, as well as in Moscow, in the final. But the other three countries – Sweden, the Czech Republic and Poland – refuse to travel to Moscow anymore. Ukraine also plays World Cup play-offs, in and against Scotland.

Meanwhile, Brazil players Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev, such as David Neres and Marlon, have requested their government’s help in the evacuation from Kiev in a video message. Players are trapped with their families in a hotel in the Ukrainian capital after the invasion of Russian forces.

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Schalk separates from Gazprom

Echoes of the Russian invasion reverberate outside Ukraine. The European Parliament asks UEFA to cancel its sponsorship contract with Gazprom. The Russian Natural Gas Company is the main sponsor of the European Champions League, with a deal worth 40 million euros annually. German second-division team Schalke 04 has already decided to ban Gazprom from wearing jerseys. This choice came after constant pressure.

Manchester United is also reviewing a €47 million sponsorship deal with Russian airline Aeroflot. Before the Champions League match against Atletico Madrid, it had already decided to cancel flights with Aeroflot and acquire another company. Now Man U wants to investigate if he can separate from Aeroflot and find another airline partner.

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