The International Olympic Committee has also urged sports federations to move their events out of Russia or Belarus.
LONDON, UK – The invasion of Ukraine sparked punitive action worldwide on Friday when Russia was stripped of the Champions League final, with UEFA replacing St Petersburg with Paris as host, and Formula One withdrawing the Russian Grand Prix this season in Sochi.
The International Olympic Committee has also urged sports federations to move their events out of Russia or Belarus, which Moscow is using as a stage for its troops moving to Ukraine from the north.
A violent backlash against the acceptance of Russian state-owned companies as sports sponsors led Manchester United to abandon Aeroflot’s trade deal, and the Premier League club cited “events in Ukraine” after the airline was banned in Britain as part of the sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s regime. .
Although UEFA still has Gazprom as the sponsor of the Champions League, the final will no longer be held at the St. Petersburg stadium named after the Russian state energy company. The climax of the European men’s football season will still be celebrated on May 28, but now at the Stade de France, with 80,000 seats, in the suburb of Saint-Denis in the French capital following the decision of the UEFA executive committee.
Discussions led by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin followed the European Commission and French President Emmanuel Macron in recent days after concerns were expressed about the state of Russia to preserve such a prestigious event following its aggression. to another European country.
UEFA thanked Macron for his “personal support and commitment to move the most prestigious European club football match to France in a time of unprecedented crisis”.
Alexander Dyukov, a Russian member of UEFA’s executive committee, complained that the decision was made for “political reasons”. Dyukov also opposed UEFA ordering Russian clubs and national teams to play in neutral venues until further notice, a ruling also imposed on Ukrainian sides.
The move comes as Russian bombs and troops hit Ukraine during the first full day of the invasion, and world leaders began on Friday to fine-tune a response aimed at punishing the Russian economy and its leaders, including Putin’s inner circle.
The IOC had already condemned Russia for failing to comply with the Olympic Truce, days after the end of the Beijing Winter Games and before the Paralympics.
Russia’s name, flag and anthem have already been excluded from the Beijing Paralympic Games from March 4 to 13 due to previous doping disputes. His team will compete as RPC, short for Russian Paralympic Committee.
Now the IOC is calling on events that are not subject to WADA doping sanctions to stop displaying the national flags of Russia or Belarus or to play their anthems.
Motorsport continued in Russia after not being bound by the AMA ruling, which banned Russia from hosting international sporting events until December.
The F1 race was not scheduled until September in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, but the management of the motorsport series decided that it would be “impossible” to organize the Grand Prix after talking to the teams and the governing body of the FIA. The American team Haas also abandoned the sponsorship of the Russian company Uralkali during the pre-season tests in Barcelona. Haas’ Nikita Mazepin is the only Russian driver on the F1 grid this season.
“We are watching the events in Ukraine with sadness and shock and look forward to a speedy and peaceful resolution of the current situation,” F1 said in a statement.
The French government will work with UEFA to help rescue footballers and their families who are “facing severe human suffering, destruction and displacement,” the governing body of European football said in a statement.
There is the unresolved issue that Russia has yet to host Poland in the World Cup qualifiers in Moscow. Poland wants the match out of Russia, but FIFA has not yet decided.
UEFA was more decisive in the Champions League final, which was hosted by the British government.
“Russia should not be allowed to exploit sporting and cultural events on the world stage to legitimize its unprovoked, premeditated and unnecessary attack on a sovereign democratic state,” said British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who has the sports report.
This is the third year in a row that UEFA has had to change its Champions League final venue after two changes due to coronavirus problems. The Stade de France last hosted the Champions League final 16 years ago, when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the 2006 final.
UEFA has two weeks before the next series of Champions League matches to solve the problem of Gazprom ads appearing on stadium pitches. Strengthening the company’s close ties with UEFA, Dyukov is a CEO of a subsidiary of Gazprom, as well as a member of Europe’s top football decision-making body.
The Gazprom logo has already been removed this week from the jerseys of German club Schalke but remains a sponsor.
Away from football, the International Ski Federation has announced that Russia will not host any of its World Cup events this winter. The decision came after a sham attempt to hold cross-country ski races on Friday at the Sunny Valley Urals station a day after Russia began invading Ukraine.
Only a handful of Russians started and dozens of runners from all other countries did not participate. The FIS cited “the safety of all participants and maintaining the integrity of the World Cup” for suspending five events scheduled for next month. Replacement locations are sought.
Russia’s Grand Prix canceled Formula One after Ukraine’s attack
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