Following Vladimir Putin deploying the Russian army to invade neighboring Ukraine by land, sea and air, a number of major sporting events have been pulled from Russia.
Scheduled to take place in September in Sochi, the Russian Grand Prix was canceled by the powers that be at Formula One after it was deemed it would be “impossible” to hold the race “in the current circumstances.”
“We are watching the developments in Ukraine with sadness and shock and hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the present situation,” F1 said in a statement.
The move was made after the Union of European Football Association moved this season’s Champions League final from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Paris, as first reported by The New York Times.
“The UEFA executive committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021-22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from St Petersburg to Stade de France in St Denis,” the UEFA said in a statement: “UEFA wishes to express its thanks and appreciation to French Republic president Emmanuel Macron for his personal support and commitment to have European club football’s most prestigious game moved to France at a time of unparalleled crisis.” The Champions League final will be played as initially scheduled on May 28.
Elsewhere in the world of soccer, the soccer federations of Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden have issued a joint statement saying they will “not consider traveling to Russia” for upcoming World Cup qualifying matches that were set to take place next month in Moscow.
“Based on the current alarming development in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, including the security situation, the Football Associations of Poland, Sweden and Czech Republic express their firm position that the playoff matches to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, scheduled for 24 and 29 March 2022, should not be played in the territory of the Russian Federation,” the statement read. “The signatories to this appeal do not consider traveling to Russia and playing football matches there. The military escalation that we are observing entails serious consequences and considerably lower safety for our national football teams and official delegations.”
Already vexed with Russia due to everything that happened with figure skater Kamila Valieva at the Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee condemned the Russian government for breaching the Olympic Truce by invading Ukraine. The truce began seven days before the start of the Beijing Olympics on February 4 and is supposed to end seven days after the closing of the Paralympic Games on March 13. “The International Olympic Committee strongly condemns the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government,” the IOC said in a statement. “The respective UN (United Nations) resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 December 2021 by consensus of all 193 UN Member States.”
In the wake of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Manchester United of the English Premier League have ended their commercial partnership with Russian state airline Aeroflot, a team sponsor since 2013. “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights,” the Premier League club said in a statement. “We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.”