More punitive measures were taken by the sporting world after Russia was stripped from the Champions League final in St. Petersburg, and Formula One withdrew the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.
International Olympic Committee also advised sports federations that they should move their events from Russia or Belarus. Moscow uses this as a staging ground to allow its troops to enter Ukraine from the north.
The IOC statement indicated an ostracizing of President Vladimir Putin, a man who has lavishly paid for sports events. Despite the fact that Russia has been corrupting sport through state-sponsored doping programs over the past decade, Gianni Infantino and Thomas Bach were still interested in him.
Manchester United has ended their commercial agreement with Aeroflot due to opposition to Russian state-owned corporations sponsoring sports. After the airline was banned from Britain in response to sanctions against Putin’s regime, the English Premier League giant mentioned “events Ukraine”.
While UEFA continues to work on Gazprom being a Champions League sponsor for the final, it will not be held at the St. Petersburg stadium named in honor of the Russian state-owned energy company. Paris will host the final European men’s football championship on May 28th, but it will be at the Stade de France with 80,000 seats.
Following concerns about Russia’s aggression against another European country, discussions were held by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. They also included the European Commission and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron was thanked by UEFA for his “personal support” and dedication to having European club football’s most prestigious sport moved to France during a time of unprecedented crisis.
Alexander Dyukov (a Russian member on the UEFA executive board) complained that the decision was made for “political reasons.” Dyukov also objected to UEFA’s order to Russian clubs and national teams play at neutral venues, a decision also imposed upon Ukrainian sides.
This was after Russian troops and bombs pounded Ukraine on the first day of the invasion. World leaders began to refine their response to punish Russia’s economy and its leaders (including Putin’s inner circle) on Friday.
The IOC had already condemned Russia’s breach of the Olympic Truce days before the Beijing Winter Games ended and just before the Paralympics.
Russia’s flag, name and anthem have been removed from the March 4-13 Paralympics at Beijing due to doping issues. Its team will compete as RPC (Russian Paralympic Committee).
The IOC has asked events that are not subject to WADA doping sanctions, to stop displaying the Russian or Belarusian flags or playing their anthems.
Although the F1 race was not due until September in Sochi, the leadership of the motorsport series decided that it was impossible to stage the grand prix. This decision was made after discussions with the teams and the governing body of the FIA. During preseason testing in Barcelona, American team Haas dropped sponsorship of Russian company Uralkali. Russian driver Nikita Mazepin from Haas is the only one on the F1 grid.
F1 released a statement saying that they were watching developments in Ukraine with sadness, shock, and hoping for a peaceful resolution.
St. Petersburg and Sochi stand to lose tens and millions of dollars by not hosting the Russian GP and Champions League final, respectively. Host cities can earn more than $50 million from Champions League finals. The non-monetary benefits of staging large events include a boost in tourism, increased employment, and better visibility on the global stage.
Russia is still due to host Poland in the World Cup soccer qualifying playoff semifinals in Moscow. This issue remains unresolved. FIFA is yet to make a decision on Poland’s request that the game be taken out of Russia.
UEFA works with the French government to help footballers and their families in Ukraine.
UEFA has 2 weeks to address the problem of Gazprom ads flashing on stadium pitches. Dyukov, a Gazprom subsidiary CEO and a member of European football’s highest decision-making body, reinforces the company’s close ties to UEFA.
Gazprom’s logo was removed from Schalke’s jerseys this week, but it is still a sponsor.
The International Ski Federation has announced that Russia will no longer host its World Cup events in this winter. After a bizarre attempt to host ski cross races in Sunny Valley, Urals on Friday, one day after Russia invaded Ukraine, the International Ski Federation decided against it.
Only a few Russians took part, and many other racers did not participate. FIS stated that the cancellation of five events scheduled for the following month was necessary to ensure the safety of all participants as well as preserve the integrity of World Cup. We are looking for replacement venues.
After an emergency meeting, the international governing body of curling announced that the European championships, which were due to take place in Perm, Russia in November, would also be moved.
All events in Russia were also cancelled by the International Tennis Federation. After winning a match, Andrey Rublev wrote “No War Please” to the Dubai Championships TV camera on Friday.